Connor McDavid's injury-shortened rookie year offered plenty of promise, but his second act was nothing short of spectacular -- this time, he played all 82 games and blew away the competition with 30 goals and 70 assists for an even 100 points. That's 11 more than Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane, who tied for second, and McDavid rounded his line out with a plus-27 rating while leading the formerly cellar-dwelling Oilers two rounds deep into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Just 20 years old, McDavid has quite arguably unseated Crosby for the title of best player in hockey -- you may not find anyone outside of Pittsburgh willing to argue otherwise. What's next for McDavid, who inked an eight-year, $100 million contract extension over the summer? Well, as long as he can stay healthy (unlike Crosby, whose illustrious career has been dogged by concussions), a decade-plus of utter domination would be a reasonable expectation.
McDavid officially signed an eight-year, $100 million contract extension with the Oilers on Wednesday, TSN reports. For perspective, that's $1 million for every point that the 2017 Art Ross and Hart Trophy -- not to mention the Ted Lindsay Award -- winner picked up in the 2016-17 season. Since McDavid still has another year left on his current contract valued at $3.775 million annually -- $8.725 million less than he'll get each year under the new deal -- the Oilers have essentially locked up the generational talent for the next nine years. He'll presumably cost the fantasy hockey equivalent of gold in drafts this fall.
McDavid will reportedly sign an eight-year deal with Edmonton with an annual average value of $13.5 million, per Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada. Once signed, this deal would make McDavid the highest-paid player in the NHL. By comparison, Chicago's Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews both come with a $10.5 million cap hit. The Oilers will be tying up a significant amount of their cap space in McDavid as well as linemate Leon Drasiatl, who's also expected to receive a hefty pay increase. Considering that the 20-year-old McDavid walked away with the Hart Memorial and Art Ross trophies after putting up 30 goals and 70 helpers this past season, few would argue he's not worth every penny Edmonton is going to give him.
McDavid won the Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association on Wednesday. The young Oilers captain captured multiple awards Wednesday, including the Art Ross as the league's leading scorer and the Ted Lindsay Award. In what promises to be an illustrious career, like Sidney Crosby, McDavid captured all three trophies in just his second year in the NHL. McDavid's terrifying mix of speed and skill makes him a devastating offensive player, and no one else in the league seems to be able to keep pace with him. He is the third consecutive first-time winner of the award, following Carey Price in 2015 and Patrick Kane in 2016.
McDavid was the league's scoring leader with 100 points, the only player to reach the century mark for the 2016-17 season. Well, that didn't take long. After being limited to just 45 games in his rookie season due to a broken collarbone, McDavid played in all 82 games and scored 100 points to claim his first league scoring title, edging Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane by 11 points. As a testament to McDavid's dominance, just 27 of his points came on the power play, the lowest percentage among the league's top five scorers. McDavid is the third-youngest Art Ross winner in NHL history after Wayne Gretzky and Crosby, and he's just starting an NHL career that promises to equally illustrious. McDavid's all-around game isn't as polished as Crosby's, but he's arguably the most dangerous offensive player in the league and he ranked fourth among forwards in average ice time.
Along with winning the Art Ross Trophy, McDavid was named the league's best player as voted by the NHLPA. Of all the awards McDavid has won, the Lindsay Award is perhaps the most significant because it's voted on by his peers. Nobody else in the league can mix high speed and elite playmaking ability like McDavid, who is a shining example of the NHL's emphasis on quickness and skill. Like Sidney Crosby, McDavid managed to win the Lindsay in just his second year in the league, and he'll win plenty of other trophies down the road. McDavid is the first Oiler to win the Lindsay since Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier won it during the Oilers' "City of Champions" era.
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