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Connor McDavid

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Connor McDavid
Connor McDavid 2-FEB-2022.jpg
McDavid with the Edmonton Oilers in 2022
Born (1997-01-13) January 13, 1997 (age 25)
Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 193 lb (88 kg; 13 st 11 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Left
NHL team Edmonton Oilers
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 1st overall, 2015
Edmonton Oilers
Playing career 2015–present

Connor Andrew McDavid (born January 13, 1997) is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre and captain of the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Oilers selected him first overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

McDavid spent his childhood playing ice hockey against older children. Coached by his father, McDavid won four Ontario Minor Hockey Association championships with the York Simcoe Express, but he left the team in 2011 to join the Toronto Marlboros of the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL). There, McDavid was named the GTHL Player of the Year and the winner of the Tim Adams Memorial Trophy. He was granted exceptional player status in 2012 by Hockey Canada, which allowed him to begin playing junior ice hockey at the age of 15. The Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) selected him first overall in that year's draft, and he played there until 2015. McDavid's OHL career concluded with a 2014–15 season in which he recorded 120 points and received a number of OHL and Canadian Hockey League (CHL) awards, including the Red Tilson Trophy, Wayne Gretzky 99 Award, and CHL Player of the Year awards. McDavid also represented Canada at several international competitions during this time, winning gold medals at the 2013 IIHF World U18 Championships and 2015 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.

After finishing his junior hockey career, McDavid joined the Oilers for their 2015–16 season. Despite missing three months of his rookie season due to a fractured clavicle, he was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team and was a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy. The following year, the Oilers appointed a 19-year-old McDavid the youngest captain in NHL history. Recording 100 points during the 2016–17 season, McDavid also became the youngest player to win the Art Ross Trophy for the leading scorer in the NHL. He was also awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, and was selected to the NHL First All-Star Team. Although the Oilers missed the Stanley Cup playoffs during the next two seasons, McDavid scored 41 goals in consecutive years. He injured his knee in the final game of the 2018–19 season but underwent a nonsurgical rehabilitation process that allowed him to return in time for the start of the 2019–20 season. In 2020–21, despite the COVID-19 pandemic shortening the NHL season to only 56 games, McDavid recorded 100 points for the fourth time in his career.

McDavid is considered one of the best players in the NHL by other players, fans, and journalists, and he has drawn comparisons to players such as Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky. His opponents have praised his speed on the ice, and McDavid has won Fastest Skater at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition three times. He is a four-time NHL First Team All-Star, a four-time recipient of the Art Ross Trophy, a three-time winner of the Ted Lindsay Award, and one of only two players to unanimously win the Hart Memorial Trophy.

Early life

McDavid was born on January 13, 1997, in Richmond Hill, Ontario.[1] His mother Kelly played one year of recreational ice hockey as a child before turning her attention towards skiing, while his father Brian was a high school ice hockey player and dedicated Boston Bruins fan.[2] McDavid began playing hockey around the age of three, practicing on rollerblades in the family basement.[3] He began playing organized youth hockey the next year, as his parents lied about his age to allow him to play with the other five-year-olds.[4] When he was six, the local youth hockey association in his hometown of Newmarket forbade McDavid to play against older children, and his parents, believing that he would be "bored out of his mind" in house league hockey, enrolled him in an Aurora, Ontario, hockey program.[5] From there, he won four Ontario Minor Hockey Association championships with the York Simcoe Express, a team coached by his father.[5] In 2009, McDavid participated in the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with his York Simcoe team, which also featured future professional ice hockey player Sam Bennett.[6]

In 2011, McDavid made the controversial decision to leave the Express for the Toronto Marlboros of the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), the team that he and his father had defeated in the previous year's Ontario Hockey Federation championship.[7] He won the GTHL Player of the Year Award in 2012 after scoring 33 goals and recording 39 assists in 33 regular-season games. McDavid added another 19 points (11 goals and eight assists) in seven OHL Cup games, the most of any player since Sam Gagner recorded 17 points in five games during the 2005 tournament.[8] Although he received the Tim Adams Memorial Trophy as the tournament MVP, McDavid's team was defeated 2–1 in the OHL Cup final by the Mississauga Rebels.[9]

Playing career

Junior

Although McDavid contemplated playing NCAA Division I hockey, he ultimately decided to enter the junior ice hockey circuit as an adolescent rather than waiting to begin a college career.[10] McDavid applied for exceptional player status through Hockey Canada, and after passing through evaluations of his athleticism, academics, and maturity, he was allowed to enter the junior hockey draft at the age of 15 rather than 16.[11] He was only the third Ontario Hockey League (OHL) player to be granted such an exception, following John Tavares in 2005 and Aaron Ekblad in 2011.[12] On April 7, 2012, the Erie Otters selected McDavid first overall in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection,[13] and he signed with the team that June.[14] As the first overall selection in that year's OHL draft, McDavid was the recipient of the 2012 Jack Ferguson Award.[15]

McDavid with the Erie Otters in 2013

McDavid joined the Otters for the 2012–13 season, where he scored his first OHL goal on September 21, in an 8–2 loss to the London Knights.[16] That October, he was named the OHL Rookie of the Month after recording at least one point in all 10 games he played.[17] He took home the award again in November with a rookie-leading 17 points in 13 games.[18] That same month, McDavid became the youngest OHL player ever to participate in the Subway Super Series.[19] In January and February, the physical toll of moving from minor to junior hockey, as well as frustration playing for the last-place Otters, limited McDavid's effectiveness on the ice, and his scoring began to slow.[20] On March 10, 2013, despite the Otters falling 6–4 to the Owen Sound Attack, McDavid picked up his 37th assist of the season, setting a franchise record for rookie assists. It was also his 62nd point of the season, tying with Tim Connolly for the most rookie points in Otters history.[21] He went on to record four more points in the regular season, breaking Connolly's record.[22] McDavid finished his rookie season with 25 goals and 41 assists in 63 regular-season games, second in scoring to Nikolay Goldobin among all OHL rookies. In addition to being named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team, McDavid took home the 2013 Emms Family Award for OHL rookie of the year.[23] He was also a finalist for CHL Rookie of the Year, a title which ultimately went to Valentin Zykov of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.[24]

In contrast to their poor finish during the previous season, the Otters opened the 2013–14 season with 25 points in their first 15 games, including a 10-game winning streak. During this stretch, McDavid personally had five goals and 28 points, three points behind OHL leader and teammate Connor Brown.[25] He was named the OHL Player of the Month in October and received another Subway Super Series selection, appearing as the youngest player in the tournament for the second year in a row.[26] After experiencing two consecutive four-point outings in an 11–2 win against the Plymouth Whalers and 6–1 victory over the Windsor Spitfires in March, McDavid was named both the OHL and CHL Player of the Week. Later that week, his 25th goal of the season helped the Otters to reach 100 points as a team for the first time since 2001.[27] He finished the regular season fourth in the OHL with 99 points (28 goals and 71 assists) in 56 games. His 20 penalty minutes, meanwhile, were the lowest among the top 12 scorers in the league, and McDavid was awarded the William Hanley Trophy for the most sportsmanlike player in the OHL.[28] With a 92 per cent average at McDowell High School, McDavid both won the 2014 Bobby Smith Trophy for the OHL's Scholastic Player of the Year[29] and was named the 2014 CHL Scholastic Player of the Year.[30] He was also named to the OHL Second All-Star Team alongside Otters defenceman Adam Pelech and coach Kris Knoblauch.[31] The Otters, meanwhile, finished the regular season second in the OHL, and McDavid added an additional four goals and 19 points in 14 postseason games before Erie fell to the Guelph Storm in the Western Conference finals.[32]

McDavid's No. 97 Erie Otters jersey on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Otters named McDavid their captain for the 2014–15 season during training camp.[33] McDavid recorded at least one point in all but one of the first 18 games of the season and led the OHL with 51 points before breaking his hand in a fight with Bryson Cianfrone of the Mississauga Steelheads on November 11. McDavid had already recorded a goal and assist at the time of his injury, giving him a Gordie Howe hat trick, but was forced to miss both the Subway Super Series and several regular season games.[34][35] He missed six weeks of the regular OHL season, first to injury and then international competition, before returning on January 8 for a 4–3 defeat from the Sarnia Sting.[36] Shortly after his return, McDavid was named the captain of Team Cherry at the 2015 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game; teammate Dylan Strome was selected to captain Team Orr.[37] After recording his first OHL hat-trick on February 25 against the Guelph Storm, McDavid recorded his 100th point of the season with a goal and assist against the Owen Sound Attack. He was the fourth OHL player that season to reach 100 points, doing so in only 38 games due to his injury, and was named OHL Player of the Month for February.[38] He finished the regular season with 44 goals and 120 points in 47 games, with at least one point in all but two of those games, and he led the OHL with a +60 plus–minus rating.[39]

At the end of the 2014–15 season, McDavid received a number of awards from the OHL and CHL. In addition to winning the Bobby Smith Trophy and CHL Scholastic Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, he was also named to the OHL First All-Star Team, received the Red Tilson Trophy for the most outstanding player in the OHL, the CHL Player of the Year title, and the CHL Top Draft Prospect Award.[40][41][42] Although the Otters were defeated in the J. Ross Robertson Cup finals by the Oshawa Generals,[43] McDavid recorded 21 goals and 49 points in 20 postseason games, including two goals and six points in five championship series games, and received the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award for the most valuable player in the OHL playoffs.[44] With five individual OHL awards in his three-year career, McDavid also finished his junior hockey tenure as the most decorated player in league history.[45] Altogether, McDavid had 285 points in his career with the Otters, 24 fewer than franchise leader Brad Boyes, and led the franchise with 188 assists.[46]

Professional

2015–2016: Rookie season

McDavid with the Oilers in 2015

The Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League (NHL), who were coming off of a 24–44–14 season, selected McDavid first overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.[47] On July 3, 2015, he signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the team; the total deal was worth $11.3 million, including up to $3.775 million annually in bonus incentives.[48][49] He made his NHL debut on October 9, 2015, nearly scoring twice but stopped by Brian Elliott both times in a 3–1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.[50] His first goal came five days later in his third NHL game, when McDavid scored on Kari Lehtonen in the second period of a 4–2 loss to the Dallas Stars.[51] On November 3, McDavid suffered a fractured left clavicle after a collision into the boards with Brandon Manning and Michael Del Zotto of the Philadelphia Flyers.[52] At the time of the injury, he had five goals and 12 points through 13 games.[53] He missed a total of 37 games with the injury, by which point the Oilers had fallen well out of playoff contention, but returned on February 3 for a goal and two assists in Edmonton's 5–1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.[54] On February 11, while facing his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, McDavid was involved in all five of the Oilers' points: in addition to scoring twice, he also had assists on every part of Jordan Eberle's hat trick. That single-game performance helped boost McDavid to tenth overall in NHL rookie scoring despite playing in only 19 games of the 2015–16 season.[55] Despite appearing in only 45 games due to injury, McDavid finished his rookie season with 16 goals and 32 assists, fourth in rookie scoring. He was the second runner-up in Calder Memorial Trophy voting, behind Shayne Gostisbehere and winner Artemi Panarin, and all three players were named to the 2015–16 NHL All-Rookie Team.[56]

2016–2017: League MVP and playoff debut

On October 5, 2016, the Oilers named McDavid their captain for the 2016–17 season. At 19 years and 266 days old, McDavid became the youngest captain in NHL history, unseating Gabriel Landeskog, who was 20 days older when he became captain of the Colorado Avalanche in 2012.[57] After a 10-game goal drought early in the season, McDavid recorded his first NHL hat-trick on November 19 in a 5–2 victory over the Dallas Stars.[58] The following month, he scored his first shootout goal against Ben Bishop to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3–2.[59] With two assists against the New Jersey Devils on January 13, McDavid became the first player to reach 50 points during the 2016–17 season.[60] Five days later, he recorded his 100th NHL point with an assist on Zack Kassian's goal against the Florida Panthers.[61] He reached the milestone in only 92 games, following Wayne Gretzky (61 games) and Blair MacDonald (85) as the third-fastest Oiler to reach 100 career points.[62] With a league-leading 16 goals and 56 points halfway through the season, McDavid earned his first NHL All-Star Game selection in 2017, playing on the same line as Anaheim Ducks rival Ryan Kesler for the Pacific Division team.[63] He also won Fastest Skater at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition with a time of 13.02 seconds.[64] In the final regular-season game of the year, McDavid recorded two assists to finish the season with 100 points. In doing so, he became the youngest player to win the Art Ross Trophy for the NHL scoring leader since a 19-year-old Sidney Crosby won in the 2006–07 season.[65] Playing in all 82 games of the season, McDavid recorded 30 goals and 70 assists, with at least one point in 59 games and a 14-game point streak to close out the regular season.[66]

The Oilers ended a 10-year playoff drought on March 29, 2017, when they defeated the Los Angeles Kings to clinch a berth in the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs.[67] McDavid scored his first NHL postseason goal short-handed in the Oilers' 2–0 shutout win over the San Jose Sharks in the opening-round series.[68] Edmonton defeated the Sharks in six games of the best-of-seven series and went on to face the Ducks in the second round of playoffs.[69] That series went to seven games, with the Oilers falling 2–1 in the winner-takes-all match.[70] McDavid added five goals and nine points in 13 playoff games before elimination.[71] Once the Stanley Cup playoffs concluded, McDavid was honoured at the 2017 NHL Awards with the Hart Memorial Trophy for the most valuable player in the NHL, the Ted Lindsay Award for the most outstanding player as decided by the National Hockey League Players' Association, and a selection to the NHL First All-Star Team at centre.[72]

2017–2019: Individual success, team disappointments

On July 5, 2017, McDavid signed an eight-year, $100 million contract extension with the Oilers, which went into effect at the beginning of the 2018–19 season.[73] His second hat-trick, meanwhile, came in the first game of the 2017–18 season, when McDavid scored every Edmonton goal in their 3–0 shutout of the Calgary Flames.[74] With a team-leading 14 goals and 45 points by the halfway point of the season, McDavid won the fan vote to captain the Pacific Division at the 2018 NHL All-Star Game, his second such selection.[75] He successfully defended his Fastest Skater title at the Skills Competition, completing the course in 13.454 seconds to narrowly defeat Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning.[76] On February 5, shortly after the All-Star Game, McDavid had his first NHL four-goal game with a 6–2 win over the Lightning, breaking Edmonton's 0-for-17 power play cold streak in the process.[77] McDavid's third hat-trick of the season came on February 18, when he broke both the Oilers' six-game losing streak and the Colorado Avalanche's 10-game at-home winning streak.[78] While the Oilers finished the season well outside of playoff contention, finishing 17 points behind the Avalanche in the wild-card race, McDavid set career highs with 41 goals and 108 points, and he led the NHL with 84 even-strength points.[79] Although his team's poor performance left McDavid out of serious contention for the Hart Trophy,[80] he became the first player to receive the Art Ross Trophy in back-to-back years since Jaromír Jágr in 2000 and 2001. McDavid additionally took home the Ted Lindsay Award and was named to the NHL First All-Star Team.[81]

With a point in all nine of the Oilers' first goals of the 2018–19 season, McDavid broke Adam Oates's 1986–87 record when the latter was involved in the Detroit Red Wings' first seven goals of the season.[82] With an overtime goal against the Chicago Blackhawks on October 28, McDavid became the first Oiler to record at least 17 points through the first 10 games of an NHL season since Mark Messier in 1989–90.[83] On December 13, with two assists in his 240th NHL game, McDavid became the ninth player to reach 300 points before his 22nd birthday and tied Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins as the 21st century NHL player to reach the milestone in the fewest games.[84] While serving as the Pacific Division captain at his third consecutive NHL All-Star Game,[85] McDavid set an NHL record with his third Fastest Skater victory, defeating Jack Eichel and Mathew Barzal with a speed of 13.378 seconds.[86] On February 22, McDavid received a two-game suspension from the NHL Department of Player Safety for what was deemed an illegal check to the head of New York Islanders defenceman Nick Leddy.[87] He finished the season with a career-tying 41 goals, as well as a career-high 75 assists and 116 points, and he came in third behind Sidney Crosby and Nikita Kucherov in Hart Trophy voting.[88] McDavid also received his third NHL First All-Star Team selection, finishing ahead of Crosby in voting for centre.[89]

On April 6, 2019, the final game of the Oilers' regular season, McDavid crashed into the Calgary Flames' net at a velocity of over 40 km/h (25 mph), slamming his left knee into the post. He was diagnosed with a complete tear of the posterior cruciate ligament and popliteus muscle, tears to both the medial and lateral meniscus, and a tibial plateau fracture.[90] With the Oilers already eliminated from possible playoff contention, McDavid elected not to undergo surgery but to participate in an extensive rehabilitation program that would allow him to return in time for the beginning of the 2019–20 season.[91][92][93] The season also saw significant developments for the Oilers as a team, with general manager Peter Chiarelli sacked midway through after years of criticism for his inability to assemble a competitive team around McDavid.[94][95][96] Subsequently, Ken Holland was hired as the team's new general manager.[97]

2019–2021: Pandemic seasons

McDavid started the 2019–20 season as the NHL First Star of the Week with 12 points through the first five games of the year, all of which the Oilers came back from behind to win.[98] With the first goal of his hat-trick against the Anaheim Ducks on November 10, McDavid reached 400 NHL points in 306 games, joining Sidney Crosby as the only other active NHL player to reach the milestone in that many games. It was also 64 days before his 23rd birthday, making McDavid the eighth player to record 400 points before turning 23.[99] Five days later, McDavid recorded another hat-trick as part of a career-high six-point game against the Colorado Avalanche.[100] Although he reached 50 points on December 1 in a 3–2 win against the Vancouver Canucks,[101] McDavid's scoring pace began to slow after his pair of hat tricks: he recorded 48 points in the first 25 games of the season but only 10 in the next nine, a stretch which also included four pointless outings.[102] McDavid made his fourth All-Star Game appearance in 2020 as captain of the Pacific Division.[103] He was kept from a fourth consecutive Fastest Skater win by Mathew Barzal, who finished the course in 13.175 seconds, ahead of McDavid's 13.215-second lap.[104]

With their February 9 outing against the Nashville Predators, during which Draisaitl scored twice and McDavid had an assist, the pair became the first teammates to reach 30 goals and 80 points apiece in 55 games since Mario Lemieux and Jaromír Jágr with the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 1996–97 season.[105] McDavid injured his knee in a collision with Dante Fabbro during the second period of that game, and although the knee itself did not suffer any serious damage, MRI scans revealed a quadriceps injury.[106] He missed six games before returning on February 23 for a three-point outing in the Oilers' 4–2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.[107] By the time that the NHL indefinitely suspended the season on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, McDavid had 34 goals and 97 points in 64 games.[108] When the NHL returned to play that July for the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs, McDavid was one of 31 skaters that the Oilers took into their quarantine bubble.[109] He added an additional five goals and nine points in four postseason games before the Chicago Blackhawks eliminated the Oilers in the qualifying round.[110] That included a postseason hat-trick in Game 2 to help the Oilers to a 6–3 win.[111]

In the second game of the 2020–21 season, McDavid scored the first hat-trick of any player that year as the Oilers won 5–2 against the Vancouver Canucks.[112] With eight goals and 14 assists in the first 11 games of the season, McDavid joined Wayne Gretzky as the only Oilers in history to reach 20 points in 11 games during back-to-back seasons, a feat for which he was named the NHL North Division Star of the Month for January.[113] His 500th career point came on an assist against the Winnipeg Jets on February 17. The point came in McDavid's 369th NHL game, tying Sidney Crosby as the eighth-fastest player to reach the milestone.[114] Four days later, he had a natural hat-trick and a five-point game in a 7–1 rout of the Calgary Flames.[115] He won the North Division Star of the Month again for March after recording 23 points in 14 games, including an 11-game point streak between March 6 and 29.[116] On May 9, 2021, in only the 53rd game of the pandemic-shortened season, McDavid reached his 100th point of the year in a four-point outing against the Canucks. He was the first player to reach the milestone in so few games since Mario Lemieux during the 1995–96 season.[117] He finished the regular season with 33 goals and 72 assists for a league-leading 105 points in 56 games, 21 more than runner-up and teammate Leon Draisaitl, and took home his third career Art Ross Trophy.[118] At the end of the regular season, he was named to his fourth NHL First All-Star Team,[119] won his third Ted Lindsay Award, and joined Wayne Gretzky as the only players in the 97-year history of the award to win the Hart Memorial Trophy by unanimous selection.[120]

The Oilers advanced into the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs for a series against the Jets. They were unexpectedly swept by the Jets in the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs, with McDavid recording only one goal and three assists in the four-game series.[121] The officiating standards during the playoffs subsequently became a public point of contention, with McDavid joining many fans and commentators in saying that referees allowed the Jets' players to foul him with impunity. It was noted that McDavid did not draw a single penalty during the series against the Jets, and had only drawn one in the preceding year's playoff series against the Blackhawks. McDavid asked that referees "call the rule book, that's what it's there for."[122][123]

2021–present: Western Conference Final run

McDavid (left) and Garnet Hathaway in 2022

McDavid began the 2021–22 season on a 17-game point streak, which came to an end on November 23, 2021, in a 4–1 loss to the Dallas Stars. It was the eighth-longest point streak to begin a season in NHL history and third-longest for the Oilers, behind Wayne Gretzky's 51- and 30-game streaks in 1983–84 and 1982–83, respectively.[124] While the Oilers started the season with a franchise-best 9–1 record, McDavid and Leon Draisaitl became the first pair of Edmonton teammates to individually reach 20 points within the first 10 games of the season since Gretzky and Jari Kurri in 1984–85.[125] After an excellent start to the season, both the Oilers and McDavid began suffering a marked decline in results, culminating in a 2–11–2 stretch of games in December and January. By early February they had dropped out of a playoff spot. Amidst extensive media discussion of the Oilers' lack of depth scoring and questionable goaltending, general manager Holland fired coach Dave Tippett and replaced him with Jay Woodcroft, previously the coach of the Oilers AHL affiliate Bakersfield Condors.[126][127]

McDavid was once again selected as the captain of the Pacific Division team at the 2022 NHL All-Star Game,[128] where he was upset by Jordan Kyrou of the St. Louis Blues in the Fastest Skater competition.[129] The Oilers recovered their form under Woodcroft, finishing the season in second place in the Pacific Division to qualify for the playoffs after posting the third-best points percentage in the league after the coaching change with a 26–9–3 record.[130] McDavid finished the season with 44 goals and 123 points in 80 games to secure his fourth career Art Ross Trophy.[131] McDavid was again named a finalist for both the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award.[132][133]

The Oilers advanced in the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs to meet the Los Angeles Kings, seen as favourites to advance beyond the first round for only the second time in McDavid's career.[134] The Kings proved a greater challenge than many had expected, and after five games led the series 3–2. With the Oilers facing elimination in Game 6 in Los Angeles, McDavid led the team to victory, posting a goal and two assists in a game-leading 24:02 minutes of ice time to force Game 7.[135] Two days later, McDavid had a primary assist on Cody Ceci's game-winning goal, before burying a backhand shot in the final minutes to secure a 2–0 Oilers win and clinch the series. McDavid's 4 goals and 10 assists led the league in the first round of the playoffs, and he became only the second player in history to record six multi-point games in a single playoff series.[136][137] The Oilers drew the Calgary Flames in the second round, the first playoff "Battle of Alberta" in 31 years.[138] With two goals and four assists in the first two games of the second round, McDavid hit 20 career playoff points in the fewest games of any player in 30 years.[139] McDavid scored the series-clinching goal in overtime in Game 5 to send the Oilers to the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2006.[140] The Oilers were ultimately defeated by the Colorado Avalanche in four games, bringing his postseason to an end. With 10 goals and 23 assists, he led all players in scoring through the first three rounds.[141]

International play

McDavid CAN.png
McDavid with Team Canada in 2016
Medal record
Representing  Canada
Ice hockey
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2016 Russia
World Junior Championships
Gold medal – first place 2015 Canada
World U18 Championships
Gold medal – first place 2013 Russia

Junior

McDavid's international ice hockey career began with the 2013 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, where he led the sixth-place Team Ontario with nine points in five games, including two goals and an assist in their 7–6 tournament-ending loss to Team Pacific.[142] Despite his team's disappointing performance, McDavid was named to the tournament all-star team.[143] The next year, a 16-year-old McDavid was the youngest player in the 2013 IIHF World U18 Championships in Sochi. Playing for the Canada men's national under-18 ice hockey team, he skated on a line with Sam Reinhart and Sam Bennett, recording two goals and two assists in Canada's 4–1 opening-round win over Slovakia.[144] He led the tournament in scoring with eight goals and 14 assists, including a hat-trick during Canada's 6–0 quarterfinal win over the Czech Republic.[145] Canada defeated the United States team 3–2 in the gold medal match, breaking Team USA's four-year championship streak, and McDavid was named both the Best Forward and Tournament MVP after the win.[146]

In 2014, McDavid became the sixth 16-year-old in history to join the Canadian junior team for that year's World Junior Ice Hockey Championship. Although McDavid recorded a goal and three assists in the tournament, he went pointless in the last three games and spent most of the bronze medal match, in which Canada fell 2–1 to Russia, on the bench.[147] He rejoined the team for the 2015 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in Canada, serving as an alternate captain and as the only 17-year-old on a team that was otherwise 19 years of age.[148][149] Canada took the gold medal in the tournament, defeating Russia 5–4 in the championship match, and McDavid's 11 points (three goals and eight assists) tied Sam Reinhart and Nic Petan for first in the tournament. He was named to the media all-star team at the end of the championships.[150]

Senior

McDavid first joined the Canadian senior team for the 2016 IIHF World Championship in Russia. Although he had eight assists in the tournament, McDavid did not score a goal until the gold-medal match against Finland, who the Canadians shut out 2–0 to win the tournament.[151] McDavid's was the only goal of the game until the final second, when Matt Duchene scored in an empty net.[152] That same year, McDavid was named captain of Team North America, a team of Canadian and United States players aged 23 or under, at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.[153] Centreing a line with Auston Matthews and Mark Scheifele,[154] McDavid had three assists in six games during the pre-tournament and round robin stages of the World Cup.[155] Team North America was eliminated after the round-robin portion of the tournament, with Russia winning the tiebreaker.[156] Two years later, McDavid was named captain of Team Canada at the 2018 IIHF World Championship in Denmark,[157] where he recorded five goals and 13 points through the opening rounds of the tournament.[158] With a 4–1 loss to the United States team in the bronze medal game, Canada finished the World Championship without a medal for the first time since 2014.[159] McDavid, who was joined by Oilers teammates Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Darnell Nurse, finished the tournament third in scoring with five goals and 17 points in 10 games.[160] McDavid intended to play for Canada again at the 2019 IIHF World Championship, but suffered a leg injury at the end of the NHL season that kept him from participating.[161]

McDavid was one of the first three players named to the Canadian roster for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, joining Sidney Crosby and Alex Pietrangelo.[162] In December 2021, however, the NHL declared that no players would be allowed to participate in the Olympic Games, citing COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the league. McDavid, who had already missed a chance to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics due to financial concerns from the NHL, was upset with the league's decision, saying, "It's always been a dream of mine to play at the Olympics since I was a little kid. So to have that kind of squashed as we were getting close was disappointing."[163]

Player profile

Nicknamed ‘McJesus’,[164] McDavid is considered by fellow players, fans, and sportswriters to be one of the best players in the modern era of the NHL, with frequent comparisons to both Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky.[165][166] Responding to a 2017 survey from the Associated Press, defenceman Seth Jones described McDavid as "what Crosby was when he was 20", while Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask said that McDavid "just skates and he stickhandles and it's something I've never seen before as a goalie".[167] Between 2016 and 2021, McDavid ranked first in TSN Hockey's preseason fan poll of the top 50 players in the NHL.[168] The NHLPA also voted McDavid the best forward in the league in both 2019 and 2020.[169] In 2021, McDavid joined Gretzky as the only players to unanimously win the Hart Memorial Trophy, as voted by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.[170]

Through his first five seasons in the NHL, McDavid's 1.34 points per game have been on par with Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.[171] When asked by ESPN in 2016 what made McDavid such a strong player, several, including Auston Matthews, Ryan Getzlaf, Joe Thornton, and Brendan Gallagher, mentioned his speed on the ice. John Tavares praised McDavid's adaptability, while defenceman Cam Fowler said, "I don't think there's a specific way to shut him down."[172] In 2021, Gretzky praised McDavid's increased maturity and physicality compared to previous seasons, saying, "His body language is that he doesn't want to lose, and it's infectious through the hockey club."[173] Despite the praise for the offensive aspects of his game, McDavid has received criticism from sports journalists for his defensive elements, particularly his high rate of turning over the puck to his opponents while in the Oilers' defensive zone.[174][175]

Personal life

McDavid and his girlfriend, interior designer Lauren Kyle, designed their Edmonton house.[176] After displaying pictures of the house for EDify magazine in 2020 and recording a video tour in 2021 for Architectural Digest, the minimalist design and the poor view of the Edmonton River Valley outside became an Internet meme.[177][178][179]

As a sports fan in Ontario, McDavid was a dedicated childhood fan of Mats Sundin and the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL team. He described his childhood bedroom as "pretty embarrassing" for its volume of Maple Leafs memorabilia.[180] Outside of hockey, he supports the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball and threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Blue Jays game in 2016.[181]

On June 21, 2017, Electronic Arts revealed that McDavid would be the cover athlete for NHL 18, their annual instalment of the NHL video game series.[182] Additionally, McDavid's unique skating style inspired the Real Player Motion technology used in NHL 19, in which player size and other attributes affect their skating speed and power.[183] In 2022, McDavid was one of several Canadian athletes to appear on boxes of Cheerios cereal as part of their "Be the Cheer" promotion, in which customers could write personalized messages to athletes competing at the Olympic Games.[184] That same year, McDavid became the first active professional athlete to serve as a brand ambassador for sports betting company BetMGM.[185]

Philanthropy

McDavid is involved in charitable efforts with Edmonton's indigenous community and has raised $85,000 to help indigenous children play sports.[186] He is also involved in a shuttle program to help sick kids.[187]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Bold indicates led league

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2011–12 Toronto Marlboros GTHL U16 AAA 88 79 130 209
2011–12 Toronto Marlboros GTHL U16 33 27 50 77 14
2012–13 Erie Otters OHL 63 25 41 66 36
2013–14 Erie Otters OHL 57 28 71 99 20 14 4 15 19 2
2014–15 Erie Otters OHL 47 44 76 120 48 20 21 28 49 12
2015–16 Edmonton Oilers NHL 45 16 32 48 18
2016–17 Edmonton Oilers NHL 82 30 70 100 26 13 5 4 9 2
2017–18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 82 41 67 108 26
2018–19 Edmonton Oilers NHL 78 41 75 116 20
2019–20 Edmonton Oilers NHL 64 34 63 97 28 4 5 4 9 2
2020–21 Edmonton Oilers NHL 56 33 72 105 20 4 1 3 4 0
2021–22 Edmonton Oilers NHL 80 44 79 123 45 16 10 23 33 10
NHL totals 487 239 458 697 183 37 21 34 55 14

International

Year Team Event Result   GP G A Pts PIM
2013 Canada U18 1st place, gold medalist(s) 7 8 6 14 2
2014 Canada WJC 4th 7 1 3 4 4
2015 Canada WJC 1st place, gold medalist(s) 7 3 8 11 0
2016 Canada WC 1st place, gold medalist(s) 10 1 8 9 6
2016 Team North America WCH 5th 3 0 3 3 4
2018 Canada WC 4th 10 5 12 17 10
Junior totals 21 12 17 29 6
Senior totals 23 6 23 29 20

Awards, honours, and records

Awards and honours

Award Year Ref.
GTHL
Player of the Year 2012 [8]
Tim Adams Memorial Trophy 2012 [9]
OHL
Jack Ferguson Award 2012 [15]
Emms Family Award 2013 [23]
OHL First All-Rookie Team 2013 [23]
William Hanley Trophy 2014 [28]
Bobby Smith Trophy 2014, 2015 [29][40]
OHL Second All-Star Team 2014 [31]
Red Tilson Trophy 2015 [40]
OHL First All-Star Team 2015 [42]
Wayne Gretzky 99 Award 2015 [44]
CHL
Subway Super Series participant 2012, 2013 [19][26]
CHL Scholastic Player of the Year 2014, 2015 [30][41]
CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game (Team Cherry captain) 2015 [37]
CHL Player of the Year 2015 [41]
CHL Top Draft Prospect Award 2015 [41]
NHL
NHL All-Rookie Team 2016 [56]
NHL All-Star Game appearance 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022 [63][75][85][103][128]
NHL All-Star Skills Competition Fastest Skater 2017 [64][76][86]
Art Ross Trophy 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022 [65][81][118][131]
Hart Memorial Trophy 2017, 2021 [72][120]
Ted Lindsay Award 2017, 2018, 2021 [72][81][120]
NHL First All-Star Team 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021 [72][81][89][119]
NHL Second All-Star Team 2022
International
World U-17 Hockey Challenge All-Star Team 2013 [143]
IIHF World U18 Championship Best Forward 2013 [146]
IIHF World U18 Championship Most Valuable Player 2013 [146]
IIHF World Junior Championship Media All-Star Team 2015 [150]

Records

  • Most individual awards given to any OHL player (5)[45]
  • Youngest captain in NHL history (19 years, 266 days at time of appointment)[57]
  • Most points on consecutive goals to begin an NHL season (9, in 2018–19)[82]

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External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by Jack Ferguson Award
2012
Succeeded by
Preceded by Winner of the Emms Family Award
2013
Succeeded by
Preceded by Art Ross Trophy
2017, 2018
2021, 2022
Succeeded by
Preceded by Hart Memorial Trophy
2017
2021
Succeeded by
Preceded by Ted Lindsay Award
2017, 2018
2021
Succeeded by
Preceded by EA Sports NHL Cover Athlete
NHL 18
Succeeded by
Preceded by NHL first overall draft pick
2015
Succeeded by
Preceded by Edmonton Oilers first round draft pick
2015
Succeeded by
Sporting positions
Preceded by Edmonton Oilers captain
2016–present
Incumbent