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By The Numbers: McDavid charging towards Art Ross amid goal-scoring drought


Edmonton Oilers’ captain Connor McDavid is no stranger to the Art Ross Trophy. The 27-year-old centre has won the award for most regular-season points in three consecutive seasons (2021-23), scoring 1.74 points per game in 218 contests over that span.

McDavid has won the Art Ross five times in his career and, after a relatively slow start to the season, is once again in the hunt for the award. He currently has 91 points in 54 games and trails Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov (102) by 11 points for the league lead. 

Connor McDavid point totals by season

Season Games Played Goals Assists Points
2015-16 45 16 32 48
2016-17 82 30 70 100
2017-18 82 41 67 108
2018-19 78 41 75 116
2019-20 64 34 63 97
2020-21 56 33 72 105
2021-22 80 44 79 123
2022-23 82 64 89 153
2023-24 54 21 70 91
*Bold Indicates Art Ross Trophy win

McDavid’s pursuit of his sixth Art Ross in nine seasons looks different than in years past. With just 21 goals on the season, the Richmond Hill, Ont., native is on pace for 31 goals, his lowest full-season total since he netted 30 in 2016-17. He is currently tied for third on his team in goals, trailing Zach Hyman (38), Leon Draisaitl (29), and tied with Evander Kane.

His relative down year has been even more pronounced in February. McDavid scored nine goals over the Oilers’ 16-game win streak between Dec. 21 and Jan. 27. However, since scoring a goal in the streak-ending loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Feb. 6, McDavid has failed to find the back of the net and has been held scoreless over his past 10 games.

Despite the lack of goals, McDavid has climbed up the points leaderboard by racking up 23 assists in those 10 games, once again adding his name to the Oilers record books. His 70 assists are the ninth-highest total through 54 games in Oilers’ history, trailing eight different Wayne Gretzky seasons.

His 23 assists this month are also the third-most helpers by a player in one calendar month of February.

Most assists by a player in one calendar month of Feb.

Season Player Assists
1986 Wayne Gretzky 26
1991 Wayne Gretzky 25
2024 Connor McDavid 23
1982 Mike Bossy 23
1991 Adam Oates 23
1990 Paul Coffey 22
1992 Wayne Gretzky 22
1978 Guy LaFleur 21


“I’ve decided I’m just gonna see how many assists I can get. That’s the focus, I’m not going to shoot the puck anymore. I’m not going to score anymore goals,” McDavid joked after Monday’s practice. “Of course I want to score, I want to produce. I want to help this team anyway I can, and scoring goals is part of that.” 

Since 2000, only three players have won the Art Ross while scoring fewer than 30 goals over a full 82-game schedule – Peter Forsberg (2002-03), Joe Thornton (2005-06), and Henrik Sedin (2009-10). If McDavid were to maintain his current scoring pace, he would finish with 31 goals and 106 assists. If he were to win the Art Ross, that would represent the lowest goal total for an Art Ross winner since his first win in 2016-17 but the highest assists total for a winner since Gretzky in 1990-91.

McDavid identified some possible missed opportunities over his drought but says is not too concerned about his lack of goal scoring. 

“Passing away some opportunities. Some 2-on-1s, passing away. Some opportunities in the slot, passing away. Scoring goals is a little bit lucky too. Sometimes it’s going in, sometimes it’s not. It’s just one of those things,” said McDavid.

The Oilers are 5-4-1 over their past 10 games and trail the Golden Knights by one point for second spot in the Pacific Division. Despite the poorer results in the standings, Edmonton is averaging more goals per game (4.00) during McDavid’s 10-game goal drought, than during the 16-game win streak (3.875). 

“He’s not trying to set records for himself, he’s trying to win hockey games and make the best possible read. Whether that’s passing or shooting, I think he’s trying to make the best read,” Hyman said Monday. 

“I want to help this team any way I can. Obviously for me producing is part of it, but also being a full 200-foot player. That’s what I focus on,” McDavid said. “Helping this team win is all that matters and [goal scoring] is an afterthought.”