Connor McDavid: The Quest for 200

It may be early, but Connor McDavid has a chance to do something that only the Great One has done before

Connor McDavid's 5-point night helps Oilers upend Flyers in Carter Hart's  homecoming | CBC Sports

I would like to preface this entire piece by saying I recognize how insanely unlikely this all is. That being said, only one person in the history of the NHL has ever scored 200 points in a season: The Great One, Wayne Gretzky. He accomplished the feat four times throughout his career (all in Edmonton) and no one has hit 200 since. Mario Lemieux was one point shy in 1988-89 but aside from that, no one has even threatened to reach it. If there’s anyone who could get there though, it would be Connor McDavid

Edmonton Oilers history: Wayne Gretzky scores 5 goals in 8-2 win over host  St. Louis Blues, Dec. 15, 1984 | Edmonton Journal
The Great One: The only player to ever reach 200 points in a season

When it was announced that the 2020-21 NHL season would be just 56 games, most people assumed that we wouldn’t be seeing a 100 point scorer. The shortened season didn’t stop McDavid though, as he went on to score 105 points which gave him 1.875 points per game, the most in a single season since Mario Lemieux in 1996. If he were to average that over an 82 game season, he would come up short of 200 with 154 points (which would still be the second most by any player not named Wayne or Mario) but lately, he’s been on a torrent pace.

Connor McDavid Hits 100 Points in 53 Games. He's Not Done Yet. - The New  York Times
McDavid celebrating after scoring his 100th point last season

In his last 22 regular season games (which is admittedly a fairly small sample size), McDavid has 54 points, good for 2.45 points per game, which would put him on pace for 201 points over a full season. Now, to keep up that pace over a full season may seem insane, but to start this season he’s been off to an even hotter start, averaging 2.6 points per game through Edmonton’s first five contests. To reach 200 points, Connor would have to average 2.43 points per game over the Oilers’ remaining 77 games. Again, I recognize how difficult that would be but, look at it this way. I think we can all agree that Connor McDavid is unequivocally the best hockey player on the planet. No matter what the odds may be, there isn’t a single person or even set of people in the NHL I can confidently say would stop him. So no matter how unlikely it may be, no matter how seemingly impossible it is, what’s stopping him?

Oilers' Connor McDavid growing into own voice with experience
The Oilers captain leads the NHL in points since entering the league in 2015 with 439

There’s a reason that the only player to ever reach 200 points in a season is the man who’s widely regarded as the greatest to ever do it. It’s really really hard. Scoring 100 points is a feat in itself, only the league’s best players can score at more than a point per game pace. But Connor McDavid is different. If I’m being realistic, this probably won’t happen. But wouldn’t it be fitting for the kid who people have called the “second coming of Gretzky” to be to only other one to do it, all while playing in the city where the Great One did it himself. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but don’t be surprised if it does.

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