Connor McDavid is the must-have choice in a must-win game.
Just ask his peers.
McDavid, with a whopping 59.3% share, was voted most impactful forward in a must-win game, according to the National Hockey League Players Association Player Poll released Wednesday.
The NHLPA Player Poll surveyed 626 NHLers on 14 hockey-related questions during the regular season.
McDavid, who paces the NHL in goals (58), assists (78) and points (136), was voted as a must-have.
But that’s not all.
The Edmonton Oilers captain, on pace for the most productive season in NHL history from a player not named Mario Lemieux or Wayne Gretzky, was also a runner-up to New York Rangers forward Patrick Kane in the best stickhandler vote. Kane received 46.1% of the votes, with McDavid not far behind at 28.7%. Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche was third at 3.8%.
McDavid was also runner-up in the “who do you least enjoy playing against but would like to have on your team” category to Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand. Marchand nabbed 36.5% of the vote, with McDavid receiving 15.6%.
The leading candidate for the Art Ross, Maurice “Rocket” Richard, Hart and Ted Lindsay awards, also received a nod as best passer, finishing fifth with 7.7% of the vote. Oilers teammate Leon Draisaitl topped the category with an even 25.0% share.
Though Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins was the top getter in the most complete player category at 30.1%, McDavid also registered in the top five with an 11.0% share. McDavid also received a fifth-place nod on net-front impact at 5.5%, trailing first-place getter Joe Pavelski of the Dallas Stars at 21.4%.
McDavid remains on pace for 157 points, which would be the 14th-most in league history, behind only four of Lemieux’s seasons and nine from Gretzky.
Full results from the NHLPA Player Poll can be found on the NHLPA website.