The Edmonton Oilers announced on Wednesday that center Connor McDavid has been named as the team’s captain for the upcoming season. The 19-year-old has notably become the youngest captain in the history of the NHL in addition to the 15th captain in franchise history.
The Oilers had four alternate captains instead of a single designated captain last season while forwards Milan Lucic and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will serve as alternates alongside McDavid going forward.
The Oilers selected McDavid first overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. He was limited to just 45 games during his rookie campaign thanks to a broken clavicle that he suffered in early November. The injury forced him to miss 37 games.
McDavid still managed to finish the season with 48 points (16 goals, 32 assists), good for third on the club behind current New Jersey Devils’ forward Taylor Hall (65) and center Leon Draisaitl (51). Despite missing almost half of the season, he still finished third in Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year) voting behind Chicago Blackhawks’ forward Artemi Panarin and Philadelphia Flyers’ defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere.
McDavid will be looking to help lead the Oilers to the postseason for the first time since the 2006-2007 season, when they advanced all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, only to lose to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games. The 10-season playoff drought is by far the longest active streak in the NHL. The Hurricanes hold the second-longest drought at seven seasons, ironically enough.
Edmonton finished with the worst record in the Western Conference last season at 31-43-8, 17 points behind the Minnesota Wild, who nabbed the conference’s second wild card spot. The Oilers have looked solid in the preseason, though, having won four of their six games to this point, including recent wins over the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.
Anaheim and Los Angeles finished first and second in the Pacific Division last season, respectively.