It's never fun admitting it, and it may seem premature, but I think it is clear. Despite the past performances at the lower levels, having that carry over to the NHL is a really difficult prospect. The weight of the world was on him, and it appears it was too much for the kid. I know it's difficult to say it, but Connor McDavid, the first overall draft pick from 2015, is a bust.
He's fallen far behind in scoring on his Oilers team, now just barely ahead of Mark Letestu. Remarkably, his shooting percentage is over twenty, so it's safe to say his scoring is going to drop off even further as he regresses to laughably bad. And the drought he has been mired in has been dreadful. He hasn't even recorded a point in over twenty games.
I know Edmonton placed high hopes on him. Perhaps too high. Perhaps too publicly. Maybe the "McJesus" name was more suitable for the McDonald's drive-thru communion they were offering. It can be tricky trying to figure out why a highly touted kid taken first overall fizzled out, but we can probably just blame it squarely on two things: Edmonton putting the hope of their whole franchise and city on an eighteen year old, and that eighteen year old just being mediocre.
The Oilers should be used to this by now. Watching their first overall picks burst into flames (in some occasions quite literally) is part of their team identity these days. Nail Yakupov is seen as an enigma ready to bolt to the KHL. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been on the trade block since the season began. Taylor Hall decided he wanted out of Edmonton to be a fisherman, but can't leave because he cannot pass a boating exam. What's one more broken destroyed young man? It is Edmonton after all. You hang around long enough and the most you can hope for is becoming Ryan Smyth and fuck that crybaby. This is for the best. Sorry Connor.
You can't help but feel bad for McBusted though. Not even making it through half a season before crumbling is brutal to watch. Even Rick DiPietro had a season or so of productivity under his belt before he came down with Boneitis. It's safe to say that Connor, along with his fellow Edmonton first overall washouts, are up there with the busts from the now defunct Ottawa Senators. Alexander Daigle and Chris Phillips at least have company. It just must be something about those Canadian teams. No wonder they're awful at the World Juniors Tournament. Just not an eye for talent.
So now it's time to try and recover and move on, Edmonton. Connor McDavid won't deliver you to the promised land of a wild card playoff birth first round sweep exit that your brethren in Winnipeg got to enjoy. I think a trade may be the most practical step forward. I know McDavid's value is at an all time low right now, but it's only going to start scraping against the bottom of the barrel if you hang onto him. Maybe getting McDavid into a more traditional hockey market, like Florida or Nashville, will get him excited about the game again. I'd say the Kings could use him, but they already have a fourth line center plenty capable with Andy Andreoff.
The Kings continue their tour of western Canada tonight with a swing into Edmonton. How exciting. They looked pretty good against the Canucks, but really, who doesn't?
Prediction: Kings lose 3-1 after McDavid is given a robotic implant arm.