If you have yet to tune into an Edmonton Oilers hockey game this year, you’re missing the greatest show on ice right now. Tampa is currently home of the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions, and that certainly holds the most weight. However, Edmonton is home to the last two MVP winners, neither of which has missed a stride going into this season. Leon Draisaitl, the 2020 MVP winner, leads the NHL in goals and points. Connor McDavid, the 2021 MVP, is the undisputed best played in the world and currently sits tied atop the assist leaders. The Oilers sit in first place in the Pacific division, at 11-3-0, despite having played the fewest amount of games. This is must-see hockey.

Connor McDavid

S-P-E-C-I-A-L. Connor McDavid notched his 600th NHL point Sunday night. His first period goal against the St. Louis Blues made him the sixth fastest player to reach this mark, doing so in his 421st NHL game. It also extended his season opening point streak to 14 games. The only Oiler to have a longer streak to start the season in franchise history is Wayne Gretzky, who started the 1983-84 season on a 51 game point streak. While that will be tough to beat, here’s a few reasons to keep it on the radar.

Since breaking into the league, McDavid has reached every 100pt plateau faster than he reached the previous plateau.

As a matter of fact, McDavid has averaged at least 1.00 point per game in his career since his 14th NHL game. He has never gone more than three games in a row in his career without a point, and that has only happened twice. His 17 assists so far this season are tied for best in the NHL. It’s easy to say McDavid is the best offensive player on the planet right now, as nearly everyone agrees. What’s crazy, is that he keeps getting better.

Leon Draisaitl

Connor McDavid, and all he does, is phenomenal, no doubt. However, it might just be Leon Draisaitl who is carrying the Oilers to their great start this season. With a goal and two assists in Sunday night’s victory over the Blues, Draisaitl joins Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux as the third player in the last 30 years to achieve at least 15 goals and 15 assists in the team’s first 15 games. Draisaitl now has 15 goals and 16 assist in the Oilers’ 14 games this season.

Draisaitl’s 16 assists are tied for third best in the league with Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks. His 15 goals are good enough to lead the NHL, as are his 31 total points. Draisaitl is currently shooting a ridiculous 31.9%. In 2018-2019, he led the league with 21.6% shooting, and followed it up with 19.7% in ’19-’20, and 18.5% in ’20-’21. Any slight decline has been fixed to start this season, in a big way. For context, McDavid’s highest shooting percentage to finish a season is 17.1%.

edmonton oilers must-see

The Others

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored a goal in the second period of Sunday’s win in St. Louis, marking the first time he’s lit the lamp this season. While it took 14 games for Nugent-Hopkins to get off the goal scoring schneid, there has been no lack of productivity from the 28 year old. He has 17 assists to his credit, good enough to tie McDavid for the league lead. He also boasts 11 powerplay points, tied for second league-wide with teammate Draisaitl, trailing only his other teammate, McDavid (13).

Jesse Puljujarvi

For all the drama surrounding Jesse Puljujarvi and the Edmonton Oilers over the past couple years, it’s nice to see the young 23 year old get his feet going early this year. His six goals and eight assists have him at 14 points, and right at a point per game to open the season. Puljujarvi’s contract expires at the end of this year, so his future remains uncertain. However, a continued strong run from a young player on a contract year might be just the ingredient Edmonton needs to make a run.

Zach Hyman

Zach Hyman has been a nice addition to the Oilers offense, coming over from Toronto. He started the season with a goal in game number one, so it didn’t take long for the six year veteran to settle into Edmonton. With eight goals and five assists to his name, he’s on pace for right around 76 points. His career high in a season is 41 points. This improvement is yet another reason the Oilers are dangerous.

Special Teams

The Edmonton Oilers have the best powerplay in the league at 41.9%. That is bonkers, way ahead of the rest of the league, and, quite frankly, probably impossible to maintain. They also boast the second best penalty kill at 88.1%. I am no mathemagician, but these numbers tell me they come out on top in special teams, A LOT of the time. Scoring a PPG or killing a penalty can have significant momentum implications. It’s a big reason the Oilers are 11-3-0.

edmonton oilers must-see

As always, you can follow me on Twitter for more hockey content. Check out the Belly Up Podcast page by clicking here. I will be picking back up on the What’s Up Belly Up podcast with Mike after the thanksgiving holiday, so be sure to check that one out at the least! We’re back, baby! As always, thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed. Go watch some Oilers hockey, I promise you won’t regret it.

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