Happy McAnniversary! Edmonton marks 2 years since Oilers won Connor McDavid lottery
“And we have a winner!”
They were five words that forever changed the history of the Edmonton Oilers.
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.
McDavid gave hope to a fan base that had been beaten down and drained of its energy. Hope that better days were ahead.
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.
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.
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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