2019 will mark the 40th anniversary of the Edmonton Oilers’ entry into the National Hockey League. They got off to a rocky start back in 1979, but by the early 80s they’d put together a talented team eager to prove themselves—and that’s exactly what they did. For most of the 80s they were an unstoppable force: they swept series, shattered franchise records and lifted the Stanley Cup four times in five years. They were truly a phenomenon.
That’s history though, and the Oilers are in a new era—the era of Connor McDavid. A verified superstar at a young age (and the youngest team captain in League history), McDavid exceeded sky-high expectations in his rookie year with the Oilers. In his second (and first full) season he led the NHL in points (a feat which he would repeat in the 2017-18 season) and was instrumental in breaking the Oilers’ 3,935 day playoff drought. In his fourth season as an Oiler, he continues to break records; however, he’s quick to downplay his achievements and keep the focus on his team. “You know what, it’s whatever. I’m not overly proud of it,” he said of a recent feat (he was in on the team’s first nine goals of the season).
Although he’s carried far more than just his own weight so far, McDavid knows that cups are won by teams—not players.Lightning-fast and a great team player, he’s is already decorated with numerous awards including the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award. His true potential remains to be seen, but two things are certain: the young star is off to a stellar start and he has plenty of great years ahead of him.