Who will be the Oilers new captain? Chris Wescott writes that the Oilers have a multitude of players who could sew the C on the sweater. Last season, Andrew Ference, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all served as alternate captains by committee and definitely deserve a look. But what about Connor McDavid?
While Wescott confirmed that head coach Todd McLellan would indeed name a captain this season instead of having a plethora of alternate captains, Jared Clinton of the Hockey News penned an article back in April anointing McDavid as the most logical choice for captain. Clinton writes that McLellan extolls the winning and leadership virtues that McDavid displays and goes onto report that the 19-year-old center didn’t crumble under the expectations of a success-starved city weighing on his shoulders.
Clinton speculates that had McDavid played a full season (he broke his clavicle in November which sidelined him for close to three months), his projected performance could have been around 80 points. Though McDavid appeared in 45 games, he was slightly over a point-per-game player as he notched 48 (16-32). Aside from performance, both his head coach and general manager have vouched for his leadership qualities, making him the favorite. Naming a young captain wouldn’t be an oddity as Clinton points out that Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby, and Gabriel Landeskog all wore the C very early in their respective careers.
In other Oilers news:
- Wescott also reports that McLellan expects newly acquired defenseman Adam Larsson to play against top competition come October. McLellan doesn’t expect Larsson to be a force on the score sheet, but instead, expects that he will “grow his game” along with the rest of the younger Oiler players. McLellan also urged patience with the young Swedish defenseman who many forget is only 23. The Oilers bench boss is more interested in making sure Edmonton’s new acquisition is comfortable in his new surroundings, and isn’t measured simply by who the Oilers traded to get him. Instead, Wescott writes, McLellan will only add pressure as Larsson’s comfort level increases.