April 18, 2017 3:19 pm

Happy McAnniversary! Edmonton marks 2 years since Oilers won Connor McDavid lottery

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“And we have a winner!”

They were five words that forever changed the history of the Edmonton Oilers.

READ MORE: ‘I haven’t cheered that loud since 2006’: Oilers fans react to NHL draft lottery win 

As NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly held up that golden ticket, Oilers fans knew that years of frustration would soon come to an end.

“The first overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft belongs to the Edmonton Oilers.”

Welcome to Edmonton… Connor McDavid.

This wasn’t exactly uncharted territory. The Oilers had drafted first overall three times since their unexpected 2006 Stanley Cup run but this was different. Experts gushed over this “generational talent”, comparing him to the likes of Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky. Big shoes… err… skates to fill.

Connor McDavid poses on stage after being selected first overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida. Connor McDavid poses on stage after being selected first overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.

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McDavid gave hope to a fan base that had been beaten down and drained of its energy. Hope that better days were ahead.

READ MORE: Oilers fans, teammates welcome Connor McDavid to Edmonton 

He did not disappoint.

He was not a bust.

From the moment McDavid first stepped onto the ice as a member of the Edmonton Oilers, things were different. The team suddenly had some swagger to its step.

Whether they were sitting in the stands, watching on TV or listening to the game on 630 CHED, fans instantly noticed a renewed sense of confidence on the ice.

READ MORE: Connor McDavid out for ‘months’ due to broken left clavicle 

Yes, McDavid suffered a major injury that derailed his rookie season.

Yes, the Oilers missed the playoffs for a franchise record 10th straight season.

But the momentum was finally swinging in the Oilers’ favour.

Taylor Hall was traded and Milan Lucic signed as a free agent. McDavid was named team Captain and in an instant, the Oilers went from being a pushover to a team that commanded respect. A team that was no pushover and one that was ready to reward its passionate fan base with a playoff run.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid becomes youngest captain in NHL history 

Eleven years and 10 seasons without playoffs. Four first overall draft picks. They were now a distant memory replaced with McDavid winning the Art Ross Trophy, a brand new arena, the Oilers making the playoffs and the birth of the “Orange Crush.”

A lot has happened in just two years of the McDavid era in Oilers history and you can bet, the best is yet to come.

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