Connor McDavid milestones: Oilers phenom joins Lemieux, Jagr, sets sights on Ovechkin

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid continues his historic 2022-23 campaign with a new milestone in a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

McDavid entered the game leading the NHL in goals (56) and points (129) and paved the way for his team’s 38th win of the season, enjoying his ninth consecutive home scoring record, becoming the first Oilers skater to do so with since then. Wayne Gretzky in 1987-88

Desperate to score, the 26-year-old superstar put the Oilers on their back – something they’ve been doing all season – and scored two of their four goals before the final blast blew. And, as always, he continued to uplift those around him.

Current favorites Hart Trophy defended in the final seconds of too many penalties as Edmonton led 1-0 at the end of the first period. However, he soon applied his attacking willpower, turning defender Vincent Descharnet’s saving play into an instant attack.

After Descharnais bounced in the air and rebounded into the corner, McDavid picked up a loose puck before breaking the ice with Matthias Janmark at his side, setting up a 2-on-1 shot against the lone Dallas guard. This allowed the 97th number to easily pass the puck to his teammate, who pocketed it and made it 2-0.

McDavid’s first point of the evening was his third shorthanded assist in the 2022–2023 season, setting a career high originally set in the 2017–18 season. It also marked his 130th point of the year, making him the first NHL skater. to reach this threshold since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in 1995-96.

The two-time Heart Trophy winner didn’t stop there, restoring a two-goal lead for the Oilers midway through the final frame, scoring his 57th league goal and 19th powerplay goal. As usual, the unstoppable duo McDavid-Dreisaitl once again proved their superiority over men.

No one has been able to hold McDavid this season as he leads the league with 57 goals and 131 points in 69 games while averaging 1.9 points per game. Despite having 13 games left, the sport’s most dominant player has already accomplished several notable feats, including:

  • Setting career records in goals, assists and points

  • Becoming the fastest skater since Pavel Bure in 1999–2000 with 40 goals in a single season, fourth fastest under 50 goals since 1995–96.

  • Sidney Crosby tied with Sidney Crosby in most seasons with 100 points (six) among active NHL players, achieving that tally in just eight seasons, 10 short of Crosby’s.

  • Beating Nikita Kucherov (128) for the most points in a single season during the era of wage caps since 2005–2006.

  • Recording fifth fastest (545 games) with 800 career points, sixth fastest (488) with 700 points.

  • Enjoying a five-match multi-goal streak, joining Alexander Mogilny (1992-93), Mario Lemieux (1988-89), Punch Broadbent (1921-22) and Joe Malone (1920-21) as the only skaters to achieve this feat

  • Tying Ryan Smith with seventh most goals (296) in franchise history, two behind Draisaitl for fifth.

Connor McDavid is having one of the best seasons in NHL history.  (Photo by Curtis Como/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Connor McDavid is having one of the best seasons in NHL history. (Photo by Curtis Como/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Upcoming milestones to view

While McDavid’s performance in the 2022-2023 season is already one of the best in NHL history, the Oilers captain may add a few more achievements to his resume before the regular season ends next month.

The five-time All-Star with 68 goals this season is just three goals short of becoming the fourth skater since 2005/06 to reach 60 goals, joining Steven Stamkos (2011-12), Auston Matthews ( 2021-22) and Alex Ovechkin (2007-08), who leads with 65.

McDavid also scores 156 points, allowing him to join the “150 club” that includes Gretzky, Lemieux, Bernie Nicholls, Steve Yzerman and Phil Esposito. Lemieux was the last skater to reach this historic threshold, scoring 161 points in 70 games in 1995-96.

With four more goals, the generation superstar could become the fifth skater in franchise history to reach the 300 mark, joining Mark Messier (392), Glenn Anderson (417), Jari Kurri (474) and Gretzky (583). Draisaitl, who is two places ahead of McDavid, is also expected to join this elite group this season.

In just his eighth NHL campaign, McDavid earned his third MVP award this summer, his second in three seasons. This will link him to Ovechkin, Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Bobby Clarke and Howie Morenz as players who have the Hart Trophy hat-trick.

Only three players in NHL history have won more than three: Gretzky (nine), Gordie Howe (six) and Eddie Shore (four). But at 26, McDavid still has plenty of time to be featured alongside these Hall of Fame icons.

The Richmond Hill, Ontario native plans to add a new addition to his trophy in 2022-23: the Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard Trophy, as he is currently 11 goals ahead of runner-up David Pastrnak. He also leads the Art Ross race by a wide margin, 30 points ahead of Draisaitl.

However, McDavid is undeniably aiming for a much bigger achievement, with his first Stanley Cup title, which would make the Oilers the first Canadian champion since the 1993 Montreal Canadiens.

Source: sports.yahoo.com

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