Making The Case For Connor McDavid As The NHL’s Best Player

Connor McDavid
EDMONTON, AB - MARCH 12: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers awaits a face-off during the game against the Ottawa Senators on March 12, 2021 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Hockey is the greatest game on Earth.  We love everything about it; the speed, skill, strength, you name it.  We watch every night, and we argue the next day when you’re in talk radio like we are.  And we love to argue.  Of course, the host is always right, right?

Who is the best player in the NHL? And who’s having the best season?

Well, looking at things from this mic, or in this case keyboard, it’s not even close.

It is Connor McDavid.

Here’s my case for 97.

But before I start, Darryl Sutter, who’s back in case you didn’t hear and is 3-0 already in his Calgary Flames 2.0 return, says McDavid is head and shoulders the best player in the game today.

Thanks Darryl, but I wrote this essay before you uttered those words because, well because it’s so true.

Take the following into account…

  1. Top Player in the National Hockey League.  Currently having the most outstanding season* ( *most valuable to team bs is not/has never been the voting standard)
  2. Leading the NHL in Total Points.
    His assists would place him top-five in scoring all by themselves.
  3. Number One in Primary Assists.
  4. His Other Traditional Numbers… goals, power-play success, game-winning goals.
  5. Makes People Around Him Better. And McDavid does it better than anyone else who make people around them better.
  6. The Eye Test
    Biggest wow factor!  Most exciting player in the game  re: Darryl Sutter’s quote, “head and shoulders…above the rest”.
  7. Oilers are having their best season under 97 since he arrived in Edmonton.  And they’re accomplishing this even though they don’t have a top-notch goalie, they don’t have scoring depth and they don’t have a good defence.
  8. Analytics. Number one in basically every category… goals created, goals created per game total, goals on ice for…he’s number 1 in all by a big margin. More to consider… Possession 57 percent. Ahead of all contenders, and he blows 88 away in this category (Patrick Kane is at 47 percent)*not just SAT for again… Quality of high danger shot and sat for and against…
    • goals created
    • goals created per game
    • point shares
    • off point shares
  9. Sport Logic Analytics
    • puck time
    • zone time
    • zone entry
    • passes
    • chances for versus chances against high danger chances for
    • blows everyone away 5-on-5
    • leads in even points
    • one of the fastest players to 50 points in the past 25 years
    • as I wrote this, McDavid was 7 points up on number 29 in scoring, who’s in second place… way ahead of the field

If this race is close, then Connor McDavid will never win a close vote because he can’t win by a hair? That’s the new logic? Come on, but your homer-ism aside…

Folks, this race is basically over… 97 percent over.