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McDavid’s Even-Strength Production Powers Oilers’ Success

Oilers captain, Connor McDavid, significantly increased his even strength scoring this season, making the Oilers lethal at even strength.

Edmonton Oilers’ captain Connor McDavid continues to be a threat whenever he is on the ice, no matter the circumstances. After coming off a season where the Oilers had the best power play percentage in all of NHL history, McDavid significantly raised his even-strength production this season. As McDavid remains dominant at even strength, the lethality of the Oilers in a full 60-minute game rises. But why is McDavid’s increased strength production such an important thing? 

The 2022–23 Edmonton Oilers had the most productive powerplay in all of NHL history, with a 32.4% success rate. As a result, 39.1% of all McDavid goals were scored on the man advantage. Similarly, a whopping 51% of all his points were recorded on the powerplay. Consequently, the Oilers playing at even strength were nowhere near as lethal. Frankly, the Oilers were playing an unsustainable style of hockey. McDavid’s lessened strength production left the Oilers struggling against disciplined teams. 

Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers

Lucky for Oilers fans, McDavid was able to up his even-strength production without sacrificing (at least not much) the special team’s success rates. 65.9% of all McDavid points were recorded at even strength this season. In addition, the 2023–24 Oilers have the fourth-best power play in the league at 26.1%. Notably, 24 of McDavid’s 32 goals this season were recorded at even strength. For this reason, the Oilers this season have a considerably more well-rounded game, having strengths in almost every aspect of the action. Further, with the higher even-strength production, the Oilers are dangerous, both on the powerplay and at even strength. 

The Impact of McDavid’s Increased Even-Strength Production on the Oilers

With the help of McDavid’s even-strength production this season, the Oilers can control the play on the power play and at even strength. Also, being productive at even strength is a vital component of a deep playoff run. Equally as important, the impressive even-strength production gives the Oilers the ability to change the momentum in their favor at almost any time. Whereas, last year, the Oilers almost needed a powerplay to swing momentum—a powerplay that simply may never happen. 

After a rocky start, McDavid and the Oilers leveled out their play. They spread their talents throughout the game rather than just a 2 or 5-minute power play. This season, 87 of McDavid’s 132 points were recorded at even strength, rounding out his talent at all levels of hockey. His even-strength dominance continues to add another layer of lethality to a team expected to go quite far this season.

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