Sports

Connor McDavid Is Here to Remind You He's the World's Best Hockey Player

You'd have to be high to think otherwise.
October 17, 2018, 5:38pm
Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid during a recent NHL game.
Photo by Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT-EPA-EFE

If you happened to forget, the only difference between the current state of the Edmonton Oilers organization and a dumpster is that Connor McDavid guy.

Yes, we knew this already, but we've been reminded yet again what an absolute marvel of a hockey player this dude is. With a lot of the Biased Toronto Media (tsk, tsk!) heaping constant praise and attention on Toronto Maple Leafs phenom Auston Matthews over his insanely hot start (and conversations starting about whether he's entered the best-player-on-Earth discussion), McDavid somehow flew under the radar a little bit the past week or so—due in large part to the Oilers' wonky schedule to start the year.

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It's understandable, especially if you currently reside somewhere within Canadian borders, that your short-term memory may be a little off during this historic week, but McDavid constantly reminds us that he's the No. 1 player in the world and did so again on Tuesday night in his fourth game of the season.

Darnell Nurse's overtime winner marked the first time this season the Oilers scored a goal without McDavid being involved. It's pure and utter insanity, but the 21-year-old was involved in all nine of Edmonton's goals to open the season, breaking a record Adam Oates held for 30-plus years. Oates logged points in his team's first seven goals back in 1986 when goalies were drunk every game and wore snow pants as leg pads.

So what does he think of his monumental feat? The same way he thinks about his organization right now, probably: not much. The Oilers are a mess around him and he straight-up knows it—proclaiming such in not so many words when asked after the game.

"You know what? It's whatever," McDavid told Sportsnet's Mark Spector. "I'm not overly proud of it. I don't think it's a stat we should be proud of, either. And we found a way to get a goal there at the end, so we don't ever have to talk about it again."

Aside from becoming just the fifth player since the 1930s to be involved in his team's first six goals of the season (before extending that paltry record to nine), his four-point night on Tuesday was the third game in his career that he recorded multiple goals and multiple assists in the same contest, becoming just the fourth player since 1987 to do that through the age of 21.

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No matter how much sweet, succulent legal (or illegal) weed you ingest on Wednesday, don't forget that McDavid's the second-youngest player ever to win back-to-back NHL scoring titles, behind only Wayne Gretzky by a mere days (and the only NHL player to record 100-plus points in each of the last two seasons). He already has a Hart Trophy as MVP and multiple other major individual awards under his belt after just three campaigns. Since he entered the NHL in 2015, his point-per-game clip of 1.24 is tops in the league, and he's recorded 19 more primary points at 5v5 than anybody else since Matthews made his debut in 2016.

He also sits tops in the NHL in Relative Goals For Percentage (15.99), Expected Goals For (147.7), and WAR/60 (0.25) during that time, according to Corsica’s models.

So don't let it slip your mind that there's no player on the planet that matches McDavid's overall ability and skill set on the ice right now. But, if you do, I'm sure he'll remind you again soon.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that McDavid was the youngest player to win back-to-back scoring titles. He's in fact the second youngest. But he's still the best player in the NHL today.