Connor McDavid is primed for a huge season in 2018-19. Connor is coming off his second straight Art Ross trophy and I expect him to get a third this season. Connor would become only the sixth player in NHL history to win the Art Ross three years consecutive. If you look at his offensive stats for the first 3 months of the 2017-18 season he had 14 goals and 31 assists for 45 points. He was sitting in 8th place in the scoring race, 11 points back of Nikita Kucherov of the Lightning who had 56 points. McDavid played 39 games up to that point and Kucherov had played 38.
The Oilers team was having just a horrible first half to the season. Players like Lucic and Letestu were under performing along with goaltender Cam Talbot. McDavid himself said he was feeling lousy the first couple months of the season, just couldn’t shake what was ailing him.
McDavid lit up the scoreboard in the second half of the season finishing with 28 goals and 36 assists for 63 points. Good enough to win the Art Ross as the leagues top scorer. 18 more points than he had in the first half.
Connor is coming into his 4th season in the league. He is bigger and stronger than ever. He can’t get any faster can he? Lucic will need to rebound and have a good year to give Connor a winger he can play with. I believe Milan can rebound. He has a lot of pride and knows he needs to be better. He had terrible luck the second half of the season. I don’t expect that kind of luck to follow him around again this season.
One bright spot of the Oilers season was the play of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins once he was inserted on McDavid’s left side. Fully expect Hopkins to be playing on the Left Wing position again this season, which would drop Lucic down to the second line to play with Draisaitl. The issue for the Oilers is the right wing slot. Ty Rattie came in near the end of the season and did an admirable job, question is can he do it again and be consistent.
I would like to see the Oilers stick with line combinations so players can get some chemistry. You can’t keep putting names in a blender and hope to have success. Players need to play with each other in order to develop that chemistry. Put them together for more than a game or two.
The hockey card picture on the left is of Connor McDavid when he was with the Erie Otters. The card is valued at $250 USD.