When Wayne Gretzky speaks, everybody just has to grab a seat and listen to what he says — especially when it’s about winning MVPs. The Great One is arguably the most credible person to talk about the Hart Memorial Trophy, considering he owns nine of them. Nine! That’s why it’s also interesting to hear his thoughts about the ongoing race between Edmonton Oilers teammates Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
Via Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic:
“It’s really hard because they’re both so valuable to their team,’’ said Gretzky. “That’s the hard part. Leon does so many great things for the Oilers. Big faceoffs, big goals. Connor’s electric. He makes that big play. “They’re both leaned on, right? It’s hard, because they’re both such great players.’’
The Oilers have made been a fun bunch this season mainly because McDavid and Draisaitl have both been electric. McDavid is leading Edmonton with 106 points on 41 goals and 65 assists, while Draisaitl is right behind him with 101 points on a team-leading 50 goals to go with 51 assists. With those two studs skating alongside each other, the Oilers have become one of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL. They are averaging 3.48 goals for per contest and have even stepped it up over their past several games. Edmonton has scored 51 goals over its last 11 games.
It’s arguable who between McDavid and Draistaitl is more valuable to the Oilers this season, but there are still over 10 games remaining for either player to make a stronger case for the Hart Memorial Trophy.