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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Leon Draisaitl Big Reason Oilers Back in Western Final

  • Draisaitl extended his NHL postseason record for consecutive games (four) with three-plus points.
  • The German is the fourth-fastest to reach 50 career postseason points (32 games).
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

While Oilers captain Connor McDavid dominates highlight reels as the NHL postseason’s most dynamic player, teammate Leon Draisaitl is quietly racking up points right beside him.

Draisaitl notched four assists Thursday — including the lone helper on McDavid’s OT winner — in a 5-4 victory over the Flames that put the Oilers in their first Western Conference Finals since 2006.

The dynamic duo lead the playoffs with seven goals and 19 assists each — the kind of next-level production Edmonton envisioned when it locked in the young stars through 2024-25.

  • McDavid (25) inked an eight-year, $100M extension in 2017, with Draisaitl (26) re-upping for six years, $68M shortly after.
  • Draisaitl is the seventh player to record 26-plus points through the first 12 games of a postseason, joining McDavid, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mark Messier, and Rick Middleton.
  • Draisaitl’s 17 second-round points equal Middleton for most through five games of an NHL playoff series.
  • The German is the fourth-fastest to reach 50 career postseason points (32 games) behind Gretzky (23), Barry Pederson (28), and Lemieux (29).

With the Battle of Alberta behind them, the Oilers await the winner of the Avalanche-Blues series — Colorado leads 3-2 with Game 6 on Friday (8 p.m. ET, TNT).

But despite co-leading in postseason scoring, Draisaitl is only T-14 (+4000) to win the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP. The Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon (+330) is first, with McDavid (+500) right behind.

Edmonton has the fourth-best odds (+500) to capture its first Stanley Cup in 32 years.

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