In the upper echelon of European players, where does Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl rank after his first seven years in the NHL?
The German-born forward is arguably the greatest player to come out of the country and it wouldn’t be hard to believe if it remains that way after he retires.
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But what is hard to believe is that this is Draisaitl’s seventh year in the show. It feels as if he has been in the league for only a few seasons. The No. 3 overall pick by the Oilers in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, along with Oilers captain Connor McDavid, has been one of the NHL’s most coveted talents by far. And at the age of just 25, there is a lot more to come.
Looking at the greatest European players to ever play the game, I wondered how Leon Draisaitl would compare to the top five scorers? What did they accomplish in their first seven seasons and is Draisaitl roughly around the same numbers?
It’s a convoluting case to say the least. I’m comparing apples to oranges here. But if Draisaitl is any where near close to what these great players produced, a projection can be made of where he could end up, right?
There’s a plenitude of questions to ask. So many numbers to dive into. Not to give anything away, I would have included Slovakian-born player Stan Mikita, but the Chicago Blackhawks legend moved to St. Catherines, Ontario when he was just a boy and he played internationally for Canada.
Without further ado, here’s a look how Germany’s greatest player yet takes on the best of the best from his continent. All the numbers used in this comparison are regular-season stats, retrieved from NHL.com and all-time stats are according to Quanthockey.com.
Where does Leon Draisaitl rank among fellow Europeans after seven years in the NHL?
Let’s start off with The Great Eight. Alexander Ovechkin is the linchpin of the Washington Capitals. There’s no doubt he will enter the Hockey Hall of Fame, there’s no doubt he is the greatest player the franchise has ever seen and there isn’t any doubt whatsoever that he is one of the most formidable goalscorers of our time.
Ovechkin is ranked seventh all-time in goals with 716 and he’s also 35th all-time in points with 1,298 (716 G, 582 A). He is only two points behind Calgary Flames legend Jarome Iginla for 34th on the list.
In Ovechkin’s first seven seasons as a Capitals forward, not only did he score on his back against the Phoenix Coyotes in 2006 but he also recorded four seasons north of 100 points and eight seasons with 50 or more goals. That trumps Draisaitl already, who only has two seasons north of 100 points to his name within his first seven years in the NHL.
Ovechin flew out of the gates since being chosen First Overall by the Washington Capitals in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. In his first seven seasons in the league Ovechkin recorded 679 points (339 G, 340 A). Draisaitl has 467 points (184 G, 283 A) thus far.