How the Blackhawks Can Benefit from Connor McDavid's Postseason Heroics

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How the Blackhawks Can Benefit from Connor McDavid’s Postseason Heroics

Chicago Blackhawks

Connor McDavid is doing things we haven’t seen since another Edmonton Oiler forward — who happened to wear No. 99 — was blowing through the NHL. His postseason performance has been superhuman thus far; he is forcing his will onto opponents at an unheard of rate.

The Oilers are currently up 2-1 in their Western Conference semifinal series against the Calgary Flames; the Battle for Alberta has lived up to the hype. The games have been physical and the offense has been everything a hockey fan would want from a playoff series.

Blackhawks fans should appreciate the incredible skill on display from McDavid in these games.

But there’s also an eye on later this summer to consider.

When the Blackhawks traded Duncan Keith to the Oilers last summer, they received a draft pick with Caleb Jones. That pick is in the third round of the 2022 NHL Draft — for now. But a condition on the pick could make it a second rounder if the Oilers keep winning.

If the Oilers advance all the way to the Stanley Cup Final and Keith skates top-four minutes among Edmonton defensemen in the first three rounds of the playoffs, the Blackhawks’ pick would elevate to the second round of this summer’s draft.

After 10 games (three against the Flames), Keith ranks third among Oilers’ defensemen in ice time. He trails Cody Ceci and Darnell Nurse in total ice time, but is almost 11 full minutes (or 1:05 per game) ahead of Evan Bouchard.

If McDavid keeps playing the way he is, he could will the Oilers into the next round. Of course we’re getting way ahead of ourselves thinking the Oilers will have enough to get past the Avalanche or Blues, but both of those teams are now dealing with significant injuries. And McDavid appears to be on a mission to etch his name in history.

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab