22-Year-Old Center – Edmonton Oilers
Leon Draisaitl Contract Information:
Signed an eight-year, $68 million contract extension with the Oilers in August 2017.
Draisaitl finished the 2017-18 season with 25 goals and 45 assists in 78 games.
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Age is determined on October 1st of each season.No Yes
Leon Draisaitl: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Draisaitl logged considerable time on the first line last season, holding his own nicely with 51 points and a minus-2 rating in 72 games after logging a dreadful minus-17 mark in 37 appearances as a rookie. The 20-year-oldís career is very much on an upward trajectory at this stage, but the logjam of talented centers in Edmonton means heíll have to beat out either 2015 first overall pick Connor McDavid or 2011 first overall selection Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to slot into a fruitful role on the top two lines. Expect another productive campaign from Draisaitl should he do so, as improvements in his own game should cancel out any negative effects that winger Taylor Hallís departure might have on his scoring.
Draisaitl spent 37 games with the Oilers last season, and itíd be an understatement to say it was a struggle. He scored two goals and added seven assists, and was overmatched at every turn. But thankfully, the experience didnít ruin him. After he returned to the WHL when the calendar flipped to January, he promptly racked up 19 goals and 34 assists in 32 games and added 10 goals and 18 assists in just 19 postseason contests. Perhaps most importantly, Draisaitl worked hard to improve his skating, and that has put him in good stead to fight for a role with the Oilers in 2015-16. Heíll need to move to the wing to do it, and honestly, the Oilers could use a guy with his size and strength along the wall. Should he fail in his quest to earn a roster spot, the organization could dispatch him to AHL Bakersfield and give him top-line minutes down there. His destination wonít be settled until the end of training camp, so donít invest too much.
Draisaitl is a complete wild card. Heís earned the nickname "The German Gretzky" for good reason -- his playmaking skills look other-worldly at times. But at other times, heís almost completely invisible -- in an Alex Kovalev-invisible kind of way. And you can read it all over him when heís off his game -- his body language slumps worse than a five-year-old whose had his chocolate cake taken away. Still, his vision and ability to think the game give us hope that good coaching can bring out some consistency in his game. And if that happens, Draisaitl will be a star at either center or left wing. He needs to build up his lower-body strength, but could crack the lineup in Edmonton given the right circumstances. Weíd like to see him grow his game back in the Dub, though -- thereís too much risk to his development if he cracks the NHL too soon. Could you live with Anze Kopitar Lite on your squad? Roll the dice in dynasty formats.