Edmonton Oilers: Where does Leon Draisaitl rank among the European greats after seven years?

Leon Draisaitl #29 of the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
Leon Draisaitl #29 of the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /
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Jaromir Jagr

Jaromir Jagr is widely considered as the greatest European player in the NHL and there’s a very good reason for that.

The Ageless Wonder began his career winning multiple Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992 alongside Canadian icon Mario Lemieux. Jagr played with one of the greatest players the NHL had ever seen, and Jagr managed to break out into prominence by recording 608 points in his first seven seasons (251 G, 357 A).

When Lemieux was diagnosed with cancer in 1993, Jagr stepped up to the plate and led the Penguins while Lemieux was recovering. In his seventh year, Jagr recorded a career high 149 points (62 G, 87 A) in 82 games during the 1995-1996 season.

Jagr idolized Lemieux and one of his nicknames was Mario Jr. as the two carried the Pittsburgh Penguins as far as the organization could go. This is parallel to Draisaitl’s current situation in Edmonton. Although I’m not sure if he idolizes McDavid in the same way. Don’t worry, we won’t nickname him Connor Jr.

Jagr spent almost 29 years in the NHL, amassing 1,921 points (766 G, 1,155 A) in 1,733 games. He is second in the league’s all-time scoring list behind Wayne Gretzky, which tells you all you need to know about Jaromir Jagr’s legendary career.

Jaromir Jagr (68)
Jaromir Jagr #68 of the Florida Panthers. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

Comparing Leon Draisaitl to the top five European players points-wise in the history of the league, we see that the German starlet comes close to only Mats Sundin and Teemu Selanne in his timeline. It would have been quite difficult to include Playoff numbers as well considering Draisaitl has only been to the postseason twice in his career.

But unlike all of the players he is compared to, Draisaitl’s name never emerged as quickly as the others. In his first year in the league, he played 37 games and only put up two goals and seven assists for a total of nine points in 37 games.

He was a player that had to develop in order to become who he is now. And he will continue to not only be one of the league’s greatest young stars, but he will also spearhead the German nation in the right direction. He will be the idol for young German hockey players who aspire to be in his shoes one day. Ottawa Senators starlet Tim Stutzle, who was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, is already making a name for himself in the NHL in his rookie year.

At the age of 25, there is a long way to go for Leon Draisaitl. And the best part of it all is he does most of his damage on the second line without Connor McDavid. The only exception is on the power play or late in games when the Oilers are desperate for goals. This year, Draisaitl is in the conversation for the Hart Trophy, along with McDavid and Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews.

In 29 games Draisaitl has 45 points (16 G, 29 A) and is second in NHL scoring behind McDavid.

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In the history books there is no telling what more Draisaitl will have in the tank. And the daunting question will be, how many more years can he remain consistent? I believe he has it in him to surpass 1,000 NHL regular season points. Especially since, I believe anyway, that he will continue to average at least 100 points a season over the next few years. In total, I think Leon Draisaitl can sneak his way into the top 50 for all-time points. He will need a minimum of 737 points to do so, as Patrick Marleau currently holds that spot today.