Oilers foursome "first on record" to ever accomplish productive NHL feat

Apr 5 2023, 5:25 pm

There’s been no shortage of accolades for the Edmonton Oilers this season, both individually and collectively.

Chalk another one up that touches both elements.

With a power-play snipe from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in a 3-1 win at the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, the Oilers became the first NHL team on record to feature four players who have scored at least 15 goals with the man advantage in a single season.

Nugent-Hopkins was the latest to reach 15, joining Leon Draisaitl (30), Connor McDavid (21), and Zach Hyman (15).

The “first-on-record” dates back to the 1933-34 season, according to the NHL — an 88-year span.

“We’ve been at it a long time with that group,” McDavid said postgame. “Obviously we’ve had a few net-front guys come in and out. Hyman’s done great. Kaner, when he’s there, has done great. Other than that, the core group of guys have been there a long time. It’s pretty cool to be part of a power play like that.”

The accolade probably shouldn’t come as a major surprise to those keeping close tabs on the elite Edmonton group. The Oilers’ power play, clicking at a 32.7% success rate, stands to become the most elite special teams unit the league has ever seen.

Unless it faces a drastic dip over the remaining four games of the regular season, Edmonton’s power play will have clicked at the highest percentage in NHL history, surpassing the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens, who scored at a rate of 31.9% while featuring the likes of Steve Shutt, Guy Lafleur, Jacques Lemaire, Larry Robinson, and Yvan Cournoyer, among others.

That Canadiens unit only featured two members that had 15 or more power play snipes: Shutt (16) and Lafleur (15).

Edmonton’s power play is also set to beat the New York Islanders from the late ’70s, which posted scores of 31.4% and 31.2% in consecutive seasons. Those teams, with Bryan Trottier, Denis Potvin, Mike Bossy, Clark Gillies, and more, never had more than two players crack the 15-power-play goal mark, either.

Historically, the NHL’s fifth-best power play featured the 2019-20 edition of the Oilers, and involved the likes of Draisaitl, McDavid, Nugent-Hopkins, and James Neal.

However, none have touched what Edmonton’s current group has brought.

And it’s hard to fathom another group pushing them for that claim.

Offside StaffOffside Staff

+ Offside
+ Hockey
+ Oilers