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Connor McDavid takes over as 15th Oilers captain

Joins Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier on exclusive list

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

Connor McDavid was named Wednesday as the 15th captain of the Edmonton Oilers since the franchise joined the NHL from the World Hockey Association in 1979. He's also the youngest captain (19 years, 266 days) in League history.

McDavid takes over as captain after the Oilers went without one last season, the first under new coach Todd McLellan.

Read more: Oilers name Connor McDavid captain

Here is a look at the first 14 Oilers captains:

Ron Chipperfield (1979-80): Chipperfield, a center who had played with the Oilers when they were in the WHA, was retained by Edmonton prior to the expansion draft and began its first NHL season as captain. However, he was traded to the Quebec Nordiques on March 11, 1980, and was out of the League early in the 1980-81 season.

Blair MacDonald (1980-81): After scoring 46 goals in Edmonton's first NHL season, MacDonald was named captain for 1980-81. But like Chipperfield, he didn't make it all the way through the season. The Oilers traded the right wing to the Vancouver Canucks on March 10, 1981.

Lee Fogolin (1981-83): The veteran defenseman was named captain after MacDonald was traded. He was still captain in May 1983 when the Oilers were swept by the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup Final.

Wayne Gretzky (1983-88): The NHL's all-time scoring leader was named captain before the 1983-84 season and held the job for five seasons, four ending with the Oilers winning the Stanley Cup.

Mark Messier (1988-91): When Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings on Aug. 9, 1988, the logical choice to succeed him was Messier, who led the Oilers to their fifth Stanley Cup in 1990. The veteran center was traded to the New York Rangers on Oct. 4, 1991.

Kevin Lowe (1991-92): Lowe, another member of all five Oilers championship teams, inherited the captaincy from Messier. The defenseman held it for one season before joining Messier in New York.

Craig MacTavish (1992-94): The veteran center spent two seasons as captain before he, too, was sent to the Rangers at the 1994 NHL Trade Deadline.

Shayne Corson (1994-95): Corson was the first Edmonton captain in more than a decade who hadn't won at least one Cup with the Oilers. His third season in Edmonton was his last; the left wing signed with the St. Louis Blues as a free agent on July 28, 1995.

Kelly Buchberger (1995-98): A career Oiler who came to the NHL in time to help Edmonton win the Cup in 1988, Buchberger's captaincy was highlighted by first-round upset victories in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 1997 and 1998. The right wing was claimed by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2000 NHL Expansion Draft.

Doug Weight (1999-2001): Weight, a center who had come from the Rangers in a trade for Esa Tikkanen on March 17, 1993, averaged more than a point per game in his two seasons as captain before being traded to the St. Louis Blues on July 1, 2001.

Jason Smith (2001-07): The captaincy of Smith, a rugged defenseman, was highlighted by Edmonton's trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2006.

Ethan Moreau (2007-10): Moreau, a hard-working left wing who had missed almost all of the 2006-07 season because of a shoulder injury, spent three seasons as captain, though he missed most of 2007-08 with a foot injury. He was claimed on waivers by the Columbus Blue Jackets on June 30, 2010.

Shawn Horcoff (2010-13): Horcoff signed a six-year contract in July 2008 and was made captain two years later. The Oilers failed to make the playoffs during his three seasons as captain, and the center was traded to the Dallas Stars on July 4, 2013.

Andrew Ference (2013-15): Ference, an Edmonton native, was a defenseman on the Boston Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup-winning team. He signed with the Oilers on July 5, 2013, and soon succeeded Horcoff as captain. The Oilers failed to make the playoffs in 2014 and 2015, and he gave up the captaincy before the 2015-16 season because he was playing a diminished role with the team, dealing with a hip injury that limited him to six games before he needed surgery.

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