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McDavid makes a very bold statement ahead of the 2023-24 season

Published September 10, 2023 at 9:13 PM
BY DEAN CHAUDHRY

Connor McDavid is far and wide the best player in the NHL. That isn't exactly news. The Edmonton Oilers possess the best dynamic duo in the league with Leon Draisaitl by his side, and the club might have finally addressed their top-6 forward depth this summer. All of that adds up to the Oilers being a cup contender once again, but McDavid is more confident than he's ever been, leading to a rather bold statement this week from McDavid himself.

"I really feel like we are the best team in the NHL. I watch a lot of hockey. There's some really special players out there, and some really good teams that are fun to watch, but I just think our team is on another level." - McDavid on the Oilers

Entering the 2023-24 season, the Oilers should be at the top of the Western Conference with the Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche, and maybe even the Dallas Stars. They added Connor Brown this summer, traded for Mattias Ekholm at the deadline, and will be rolling with Stuart Skinner and Jack Campbell in the hopes of a turnaround.

For McDavid, he's coming off a ridiculous season in which he won the Hart Trophy, Art Ross, and Maurice Rocket Richard, pacing the league with 64 goals and 153 points.


Draisaitl was right behind him with 52 goals and 128 points, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored 37 goals and 104 points, Zach Hyman chipped in with 36 goals and 83 points, and Evander Kane had 16 goals and 28 points in just 41 games.

On defence, they have Darnell Nurse, Evan Bouchard, and the aforementioned Ekholm as their strong leading cast. As for their depth, it remains to be seen if it's good enough to tackle the reigning champs in Vegas or test the beasts in the east in Carolina, Toronto, and New Jersey.

Vegas made quick work of the Oilers in the playoffs, the Hurricanes got a lot better this off-season addressing both offence and defence, the Maple Leafs might have the best offence in the east, the Devils are young, fast, and loaded all throughout their lineup, and the Avalanche - while dealing with injuries - still possess fantastic players in Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar.

Nevertheless, whenever you have McDavid and Draisaitl on the same team, great things can happen and McDavid believing the Oilers are the best team in the league isn't as far-fetched as some might think. However, being on "another level" is a claim that needs to be backed up.

Edmonton was 2nd best in the Western Conference, 6th best in the NHL, and only trailed the reigning champions by 2 points during the regular season. If their goaltending can hold up, the Oilers could very well be the first Canadian team to hoist the Stanley Cup since 1993 but that might be a tall task.

POLL
September 10   |   235 answers
McDavid makes a very bold statement ahead of the 2023-24 season

Do you believe that the Oilers are the best team in the National Hockey League?

Yes2611.1 %
No17775.3 %
They're not even a top-5 team3213.6 %
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