In just his second pro season Connor McDavid scored 30 goals and added 70 assists to become the first Edmonton Oilers player since Doug Weight in 1995-96 to reach the 100-point plateau. He was also the single biggest reason that the Oilers were able to finish second in the Pacific Division and were able to bring to an end a ten-year playoff drought. To put it simply, he had a good year. You know. I know it. And the folks who vote on the Hart Memorial Trophy – the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association – know it too, as they have named him the league’s most valuable player, beating out Sidney Crosby and Sergei Bobrovsky to take home the first of what Oilers fans hope will be many MVP trophies.
With 89 points in 75 games, Crosby finished tied for second in league scoring. While I think it would be fair to suggest that Crosby’s season was just as good as McDavid’s, if you’re trying to identify who is more valuable it’s going to be McDavid every time. Without Crosby the Penguins would have still been a good team, but if you were to take McDavid out of the Oilers lineup and, well, they’re not good.
Now in terms of value to his team, it’s tough to argue with the season that Bobrovsky had. He finished with 41 wins and a 0.931 save percentage, where do the Blue Jackets finish is he’s just average? Everyone is going to have their own answer to that question but we can all agree that it almost certainly would not have been fourth overall. But still, as good as he was, and as valuable as he was to the Blue Jackets, McDavid’s season and his numbers were just a little bit better.
McDavid joins Wayne Gretzky (who won eight) and Mark Messier as the only Oilers to be named the league’s most valuable player.