For years, the Edmonton Oilers were in the cellar of the standings, raking in high draft picks like fall leaves. Last offseason, the Oilers rebuilt their rebuild, trading away number one selections Taylor Hall and Nail Yakupov while signing Milan Lucic to a seven-year contract. Connor McDavid, a generational talent with just 45 games of NHL experience, was given the C.
With the new captain, the youngest in NHL history, and a half billion dollar new arena, the Oilers have now won five of their first six games in the 2016-17 season, holding the top spot in the Western Conference and placing second in the NHL.
“It’ll interesting to see how they do this year because I think they have all the talent to be a much better team than they have been recently, with McDavid leading the way especially,” Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen said Tuesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “It’ll be for sure a different Oilers team than it’s been the last couple years.”
Andre Burakovsky and Connor McDavid (Photo credit: Glenn Gervais)
Riley Barber wasn’t the only Capitals prospect to have a great Saturday. Andre Burakovsky of the Erie Otters recorded four points, two goals and two assists, in his team’s 7-1 blowout over the Mississauga Steelheads, concluding a big week for Erie during which they won three games and outscored opponents 19 to 5.
Burakovsky’s 37 points in 26 games are good for sixth in points among players under nineteen years of age. His 19 goals lead the age group.
The Otters’ top line. (Photo credit: Otters Twitter)
Washington Capitals first-round pick Andre Burakovsky scored two goals and recorded an assist in his Erie Otters’ debut against the Niagara IceDogs in the team’s first preseason game of the season. Throughout the game, Burakovsky, wearing number 95, took regular shifts with on the Otters’ first line, centered by 2015 draft top prospect Connor McDavid. On Burakovsky’s opposite wing was Leafs’ sixth-round pick Connor Brown. The trio combined for 14 points in a 6-3 drubbing of Niagara.
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