Connor McDavid milestones: Oilers phenom Lemieux joins Jagr, eyes Ovechkin

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Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid continues to enjoy a historic 2022-23 campaign, reaching a new milestone during Thursday’s 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars.

McDavid entered the night leading the NHL in goals (56) and points (129) and en route to his team’s 38th win of the season while enjoying his ninth straight multi-point performance at home, doing so Wally became the first Oilers skater. Wayne Gretzky in 1987–88.

Desperate for points, the 26-year-old superstar put the Oilers on his back – something he has done all season – and notched two of his four goals before the final horn. And, as always, he continues to uplift those around him.

The current Hart Trophy favorite was defending a too-many penalty in the dying seconds as Edmonton led 1–0 late in the first period. It wasn’t long before he invoked his offensive will, however, turning defenseman Vincent Desharnais’ goal-saving play into an immediate offense.

After Desharnais batted a rebound out of mid-air and into the corner, McDavid scooped up the loose puck before exploding up the ice with Mattias Janmark, making a 2-on-1 rush against Dallas’ only defender. This made it easy for No. 97 to slide the puck to his teammate, who tapped it in to make it 2–0.

McDavid’s first point of the evening was his third shorthanded assist of 2022–23, tying his career-high mark, which was initially set in 2017–18. It also served as his 130th point on the year, making him the first NHL skater to reach that threshold since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in 1995–96.

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The two-time Hart Trophy winner didn’t stop there as he restored the Oilers’ two-goal lead through the final frame with his league-leading 57th goal, his 19th on the power play. As always, the unstoppable McDavid-Draisaitl duo once again proved to be heavy on the man advantage.

No one has been able to contain McDavid this season, as he sits on top of the league with 57 goals and 131 points in 69 games, averaging a career-high 1.9 points per game. With 13 games to go, the game’s most dominant player has already accomplished several remarkable feats, including:

  • Setting career highs in goals, assists and points

  • Became the fastest skater to score 40 goals in a season since Pavel Bure in 1999–2000, fourth fastest to score 50 goals in a season since 1995–96

  • tying Sidney Crosby for most 100-point seasons (six) by an active NHL player, reaching that feat in only eight seasons, 10 fewer than Crosby

  • Surpassing Nikita Kucherov (128) for most points in a single season during the salary cap era starting in 2005–06

  • Recorded fifth fastest (545 games) to score 800 career points, sixth fastest (488) to 700 points

  • Alexander Mogilny (1992–93), Mario Lemieux (1988–89), Punch Broadbent (1921–22) and Joe Malone (1920–21) as the only skaters to have a streak of five straight multi-goal performances Enjoying Feat

  • tying Ryan Smith for seventh all-time in goals in franchise history (296), sitting two behind Draisital for fifth

Connor McDavid is in the midst of one of the greatest seasons in NHL history.  (Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Connor McDavid is in the midst of one of the greatest seasons in NHL history. (Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

upcoming milestones to watch

While McDavid’s 2022-23 performance can already be cemented as one of the greatest in NHL history, the Oilers captain has a few more accomplishments to add to his resume before the regular season begins next month. can add.

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Five-time All-Star on pace to score 68 goals this season, Steven Stamkos (2011-12), Auston Matthews (just three goals away from becoming the fourth skater to reach the 60-goal mark since 2005-06) 2021–22) and Alex Ovechkin (2007–08), who lead with 65.

McDavid is also on pace for 156 points, joining the “150 Club” that includes Gretzky, Lemieux, Bernie Nichols, Steve Yzerman and Phil Esposito. Lemieux was the most recent skater to reach that historic threshold, scoring 161 points in 70 games in 1995–96.

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

In his eighth NHL campaign, McDavid is widely favored to capture his third MVP award this summer, his second in three seasons. This would tie him with Ovechkin, Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Bobby Clarke and Howie Morenz as players with a hat-trick of Hart trophies.

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

The Richmond Hill, Ontario, native is set to add a new addition to his trophy case in 2022-23: the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, as he is currently 11 goals ahead of second-place holder David Pasternak. He leads the Art Ross race by a wide margin, up 30 points over Dracetal.

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McDavid undoubtedly set his sights on a much greater accomplishment, however, capturing his first Stanley Cup title, which would crown the Oilers as Canada’s first champions since the 1993 Montreal Canadiens.