By netting 41 goals and 108 points in 2017-18, Connor McDavid won the Art Ross Trophy as the league's top point producer for the second consecutive season. There's no debate – Edmonton deploys the best scorer in the league. He hasn't taken any shortcuts, either, potting an astonishing 85 percent of his goals at even strength for a much higher rate than his superstar peers. If McDavid claims the Art Ross hardware in a third straight campaign, he will be the first to do so in nearly 20 years. Only five players in NHL history have won three straight scoring titles: Gordie Howe (1951-54), Phil Esposito (1971-1974), Guy Lafleur (1976-78), Wayne Gretzky (1981-87) and Jaromir Jagr (1998-01).
McDavid is in a class of his own, but the next tier down is quite interesting. Thanks to the NHL's growing talent pool and associated salary-cap boom, several teams now deploy at least two elite forwards who go off the board in the first couple of rounds. Of course, the most intriguing duo can be found in Toronto, where Auston Matthews and John Tavares may become the first teammates since 2012 to score 40 goals apiece.
Last year, Mathew Barzal, Clayton Keller, Kyle Connor and Brock Boeser took the league by storm, showcasing immense offensive talent as rookies. We should expect more dazzle from the next wave of young forwards, including Casey Mittelstadt, Elias Pettersson, Martin Necas, Eeli Tolvanen, and 2018 draftees Andrei Svechnikov and Filip Zadina