Is Connor McDavid the Best Hockey Player Ever?

On April 18, 2025, Edmonton Oilers fans, like the rest of the NHL hockey world were left in shock.  To the dismay of non-Oilers fans and to the amazement of Oilers fans, the peril of the franchise (aka the Chris Pronger Curse) had been lifted. As outlined in Why Connor McDavid is my favorite hockey player, the Oilers had an 11.5% (third-best) chance to win the first pick in the draft.  They did in fact win the NHL’s Draft lottery and with that the chance to select the top pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.  That year there was minor discussion about who would be selected with the top pick: Jack Eichel or this kid from Erie Otters of the OHL, Connor McDavid.

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Admittedly at the time I didn’t know a lot about this player.  I started to do some research, watched some YouTube clips and could quickly see that this kid was a special player.  The one thing that stood out to me was his skating and edgework. Pure and simple, off the charts. No doubt that this guy was going to be an amazing hockey player in the NHL.  It wasn’t long before Connor McDavid became one of my all-time favorite players.

The Remarkable Play of Connor McDavid

On March 22, 2023, Connor McDavid scored two goals, including the OT winner in a 4-3 Oilers win over the Arizona Coyotes. Fittingly, Connor scored the game winner on the second of two back-to-back breakaways lifting the hometown fans out of their seats. Yet another remarkable play from a remarkable player. The goal was McDavid’s 60th of the season.  He reached this feat quicker (in game seventy two) than anyone since Mario Lemieux in 1986.

If you are a hockey fan, you have to admire just how special Connor McDavid is as a player. He has already had a number of great seasons, but his 2022-23 NHL season is something to behold.  He is putting up numbers that we have not seen since the likes of Mario Lemieux and the Great Wayne Gretzky. With ten games left in the regular season, McDavid is pushing to have a 150 point season.  No one, and I mean no one thought that we would see another player have a 150 point season in the NHL.

Connor McDavid Rookie Season
Connor McDavid In his Rookie Season

Connor McDavid Career Statistics

Here is a look at Connor McDavid’s NHL stats through March 23, 2023.

Connor McDavid: Career Stats as of 03/23/23

Is Connor McDavid the best hockey player we have ever seen?

“Best” can be a subjective term. The criteria for selecting the “best” of anything can be open to interpretation. When it comes to hockey, best could describe any number of players over the course of the history of the game. Bobby Orr was the best, Gordie Howe was the best, Wayne Gretzky was the best. So while a great debate can be had over who is the “best” hockey player ever, if we compare Connor McDavid to players in the Salary Cap era of the NHL, Connor McDavid is the best player of his era. He may well go on to be one of the best hockey player’s in the history of the game. He’s only twenty-six and here are a few of his accomplishments thus far.

McDavid will win his fifth Art Ross trophy this season.  He will win his third Hart trophy (should have won it last year) and his fourth Ted Lindsey Award.  He will also win his first Rocket Richard trophy.  With only 16 PIMs he could be in the running for the Lady Byng trophy as well. If you ask Connor McDavid, he will say that it’s all nice to win these individual awards, but he wants to win a championship plain and simple.

Make no mistake about it, Connor McDavid is having the best NHL season since the Gretzky-Lemieux era. We are witnessing a remarkable season by a remarkable player.  Some suggest that he is having the season of the century. It’s hard to argue this. Here are some facts from McDavid’s sensational season:

  • 60 goals in 72 games, the quickest since Lemieux in 1986.
  • Potential for 150 points. Should he hit that mark it will be the 16th highest of all-time (if you exclude Gretzky and Lemieux it would be the third highest ever). Full list over at QuantHockey.
  • Has already established a career high with 138 points (and counting)
  • Potential for 70 goals.  Should he accomplish that feat he will be the first player since 1992-93 when Alex Mogilny and Teemu Selanne each had 76 goals.

Ranking Connor McDavid’s Top 10 Goals (thus far)

It cannot be stated enough that Connor McDavid is the game’s most explosive player. Watch him live for the first time and you will be amazed at just how fast Connor McDavid is.  He picks and chooses his moments; he goes from zero to 40 km/hr in a hurry. Edmonton Oiler fans are extremely lucky and fortunate to have McDavid in the orange and blue jersey of the Oilers. While not all NHL writers will appreciate the greatness of Connor McDavid, the fans in Oil country sure appreciate this player. They would argue the he deserves to win a Stanley Cup, and could very well win it in the next year or two.

Connor McDavid Milestones/Accolades

Here is a look at a couple of other notable accolades for the captain of the Edmonton Oilers

  • In 56 games in 202-21 NHL season, he averaged 1.88 points per game, the most by any player to play at least 50 games in a season since Mario Lemieux (2.30) and Jaromir Jagr (1.82) in 1995-96.
  • On Nov. 14, 2021, McDavid became the sixth-fastest in NHL history to score 600 points.
  • Connor McDavid is the seventh player in NHL history to win the Art Ross Trophy at least four times (he will win his fifth season and could easily win in three or four more times to end up with eight or nine, behind only Gretzky’s ten).
  • His 724 points were the second-most through 500 games among players selected No. 1 in the NHL Draft behind Mario Lemieux (971).
  • McDavid is the 22nd NHL player to score at least 60 goals in a season.
  • In 2020-21. McDavid’s 105 points on the season saw him participate in a staggering 57.38% of all Oilers goals breaking a record previously held by Mario Lemieux.
  • McDavid has 42 multi-point games through March 23, 2023. Should he hit 50, he will join only Gretzky and Lemieux as the only players to have 50 multi-point games in a season.

Connor McDavid dominates his opposition. This season Connor McDavid has put up double digits vs. two teams as he had three goals and ten points vs, Nashville in three games and four goals, six assists in four games vs. Seattle. (He also put up nine points in three games vs, Chicago). There are nine other teams in which he has 5+ points against (Source: Statsmuse).

We are also seeing more of the personality of Connor McDavid.  Case in point, check out McDavid’s post game interview with TNT after he scored his 60th of the season.  A couple of grade-A chirps to Biz. While everyone is talking about another Connor (Bedard who is lighting it up in the WHL), Connor McDavid is the Guy right now and it’s not even close. You know the one thing that Connor McDavid needs is a good nickname.  I know that Oilers fans have dubbed the superstar player with the McJesus moniker (which Caps fans also gave to Connor McMichael) or McSavior, but those just don’t seem that fun. If it were up to me, I’d give Connor McDavid a nickname something like:

  • The Great One 2.0
  • The Gifted One (implying both how the franchise was “gifted” this player and how “gifted” in terms of talent that McDavid is.
  • “Real Deal”
  • “Teleport” (based on his quick acceleration and speed)
  • Mach” as in Connor Mach-David (representing the unit for measuring high speeds in comparison to the speed of sound)

As a hockey fan I am excited for Connor McDavid to see what he can do in the playoffs this season. For the Oilers to win they will need to be firing on all cylinders.  The dee will need to play tough, they’ll need above average goaltending, but one thing is for certain, they will score.  Number ninety-seven will put the team on his back.  As McDavid goes, so do the Oilers, albeit with more depth this season.

Image Courtesy: Edmonton Journal Twitter

Last year when Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews was receiving all of the praise and won the Hart trophy award, I couldn’t help feel that Connor McDavid was snubbed a little bit. I knew right then and there that next season Connor would be motivated.  I knew that he would shoot more and score fifty goals plus.  When pressed about something, he just gets that look.  When asked questions In interview scrums you just know that he is a highly motivated individual.  I don’t even know if Connor McDavid has gone “super nova” yet… he still may have more to give.  There is no question that he is the most electric and best hockey player on the planet right now and there is no one even close.  His consistency, passion, determination and work ethic on and off the ice are nothing like we have ever seen before. We are witnessing one of NHL’s greatest performers in the history of the game. Take it in people, Connor McDavid is a real treat to watch.  Whether you like him or not is moot.  Connor McDavid is in fact a generational talent. Every thing he does is done so with intent.

It is a privilege to watch this player skate, and make plays at speeds no other player can. While individual milestones are great, you have to think that Connor McDavid has his mind set on something else.

Some other great takes on Connor McDavid: