Connor McDavid is the best player in the NHL today. I don’t think that’s up for debate. Anyone who says otherwise isn’t arguing in good faith.
When Connor McDavid hangs up his skates for the last time, there will be a conversation where he will ranks among the best to ever play the game. Edmonton is fortunate beyond words to have Connor McDavid within their ranks. He’s an every-shift player; there’s not one situation that you wouldn’t have him on the ice. Why? He delivers. Sometimes, he makes it look effortless. One night he’s making turnstiles out of four Rangers, another night he’s putting Calgary to bed in five games. He’s the most dynamic player to play in Edmonton since Wayne Gretzky, and this Gretzky guy was pretty good during his heyday too.
Connor McDavid scores a lot of goals, and he scores a lot of points. He’s going to do that again in 2022-23. How many points?
In the 56 game abbreviated season that took place two years ago, Connor McDavid scored an unbelievable 105 points in just 56 games. He flirted with averaging two points per game for a significant part of that season. He failed to score a point in just 11 of his club’s 56 games, while putting together 18 games with 3 or more (including five four point games, and two five pointers). For last year’s prediction, I noted that Edmonton played all of their games in Canada for the shortened season. This included a nine pack of games against the Ottawa Senators, who weren’t great in 2020-21. McDavid put up a fifth of his season’s points (21) in just those nine games. Though 84 points in 47 other games is certainly nothing to sneeze at, it was at least a fair conversation to suggest that nine games against the Senators (the Oilers were 9-0-0 in those games) might have helped McDavid’s numbers a bit. However you slice it, 105 points in 56 games is big business.
McDavid wasted no time getting on the board last season, picking up right where he left off in 2020-21. He’d put up 14 points in his first five games, the points kept coming right up until the end. In 80 games, McDavid put up 123 total points , or 1.53 points per game. (44-79-123). We predicted 45-83-128 (1.56 points/game) this time last year (we also predicted 46 power play points, he’d finish with 44), and there’s good reason to believe he could have squeezed five points in two games had he played the full set. The Oilers didn’t play the Senators nine times in 2021-22, but it didn’t stop McDavid from averaging over a point and a half over the course of the season.
It’s just business as usual for the best player in the world.
When you see seven full seasons of a player, you tend to get a good feel of what that player is capable of. I think I know what a full season of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is going to look like, I’m pretty sure I know what a full season of Zach Hyman will look like. There are a few variables, but we know what we’re getting from those two. I think I know what Connor McDavid is capable of, but there’s really an X-factor that suggests that he just might be capable of something even more than what we’ve seen recently. Normally I don’t go on thinking that we’re going to see another gear from a player that’s 25, but I don’t know of any more Connor McDavids than the one that’s on the Oilers. The man’s never shot below 12% in any professional season. Assume that to be his worst possible scenario in 2022-23.
McDavid’s 123 points earned him the Art Ross Trophy in a year where he saw competition from Jonathan Huberdeau and now-Blue Jackets forward Johnny Gaudreau. McDavid’s 123 points led fellow All-Star Leon Draisaitl by 13 at season’s end, the two were an unstoppable force for the entire season and two rounds of the playoffs.
SO HOW MANY
A healthy Connor McDavid is a truck. You can throw whatever in the back of it and it will still get carried up the hill. Take the truck through the mud, over the hills, and back down the mountain. It fires up every morning and doesn’t quit.
Connor McDavid will score a boatload of points, and I think he’s hovering around that 130 mark again in 2022-23 if he replicates his shot total from last season. A big question is about that shot total: he registered 310 shots last season. That’s a pretty big jump from his last full season, when he put up 240 shots in 2018-19.
If McDavid is around the 300 shot mark again in 2022-23 and shoots his career average of 15%, that’s 45 goals. Put that alongside 85 assists, and I think there’s a real chance he hits or eclipses the 130 point mark over 82 games. I’ll say 44-87-131 in 82 games, that will include 49 points on the power play. It’d be a career high for McDavid, and those numbers are already pretty lofty.
Predicting a player to score 130+ is sort of ridiculous, but I’m not sure we’ve seen the top of the mountain yet.
POLL: Assume 82 games played. How many points will Connor McDavid score in 2022-23?
This poll is closed