As expected, the Edmonton Oilers have announced that Connor McDavid will be the team’s captain for the 2016-17 season and likely well beyond. At just 19-years-old, McDavid becomes the youngest team captain in NHL history, as the team tweeted, edging out Vincent Lecavalier for the honor by about six weeks.
The top overall selection in the 2015 draft, McDavid has the potential to be a generational talent. McDavid was one of only five players last season to average better than a point-per-game, tallying 48 in 45 contests as a rookie. It’s likely had he not missed nearly half the season due to injury that he would have been an easy choice for the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie.
Despite his youth, McDavid appears perfectly suited for the role of captain. He served in the same capacity for both his junior club, the Erie Otters, and for Team North America at the World Cup.
While it’s a near-certainty McDavid will soon be one of, if not the best hockey player on the planet, it remains to be seen whether he can finally lead the long-suffering Oilers back to the postseason in 2016-17. The Oilers have long boasted tremendous talent and skill but have failed to reach the playoffs in a decade. After several high-profile offseason acquisitions and with their best player now leading the way, Edmonton looks poised to make a jump in the standings.