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Art Ross Trophy

Draisaitl wins Art Ross Trophy as NHL scoring leader

Oilers center finished season with 110 points, ahead of teammate McDavid

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

Leon Draisaitl won the Art Ross Trophy as the leading scorer in the NHL this season.

The Edmonton Oilers center finished with an NHL career-high 110 points (43 goals, 67 assists) in 71 games, 13 more than teammate Connor McDavid, who was second with 97 points (34 goals, 63 assists) in 64 games. It's the first time teammates have finished first and second in the scoring race since Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Martin St. Louis (60 points) and Steven Stamkos (57) in the shortened 2012-13 season.

"You dream of these things, no question, but until you do it, it seems so far away," Draisaitl said Friday. "I'm proud in a way of course but I know that I still have lots of things to work on. ... There's many things in my game I can improve so I am looking to do that every year."

Draisaitl was on pace for 127 points before the NHL season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. Last season, Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov led the NHL with 128 points (41 goals, 87 assists), the most in one season since 1995-96 when Mario Lemieux had 161 points (69 goals, 92 assists) and Jaromir Jagr had 149 points (62 goals, 87 assists) for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"Tremendous accomplishment by Leon," Oilers general manager Ken Holland said Wednesday. "It's a credit to his commitment, his passion the hard work that he's put in and the determination over the course of the last three, four five seasons to continue to take steps forward in his career."

The NHL in its Return to Play Plan announcement May 26 said there would be no more regular-season games, instead restarting with eight teams in each conference playing a Qualifying Round for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with a Seeding Round Robin featuring the top four teams in each conference.

Draisaitl led the NHL in assists and power-play points (44), and he was tied with Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak for the most game-winning goals (10). Draisaitl's 66 even-strength points were second in the League to Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers (71), and his 16 power-play goals were second to Pastrnak (20).

He had at least one point in 56 of 71 games and 33 multipoint games, including 14 with at least three points and five with at least four. He had point streaks of 13 games (10 goals, 18 assists from Oct. 24-Nov. 19) and 11 games (seven goals, 15 assists from Dec. 31-Feb. 1).

"I think I've always been more of the pass-first type of guy, but I knew early on in my career in the NHL that I have to be a threat to shoot once in a while, too, otherwise I'm too predictable," Draisaitl said. "It's just something I've worked on constantly during the summer, in season, whenever it was, so it's something I had to put into my game."

Video: EDM@NSH: Draisaitl dazzles with four-goal game in win

Draisaitl is the third Oilers player to win the Art Ross Trophy, joining McDavid (2016-17, 2017-18) and Wayne Gretzky (seven straight seasons from 1980-87).

"Obviously he had a great year. He played great and he was very deserving of winning the Art Ross," McDavid said Thursday. "But collectively I think our group has done a good job and allowed many individuals to have success and put ourselves in a good spot here to play in the play-in round and try to earn a spot in the playoffs. Obviously Leo's had a great season and very deserving, but we've got lots more to play for."

Draisaitl finished fourth in the NHL last season with 105 points (50 goals, 55 assists) and was one goal behind Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin for the League lead. Draisaitl's 215 points the past two seasons lead the NHL, two ahead of McDavid and Kucherov, and his 93 goals are second to Ovechkin's 99.

"Obviously when you come to numbers like this, there's always people that help you get there," Draisaitl said. "I've been lucky enough to have some great teammates, some great linemates over the last two years that have really made me a better player and pushed me to become an offensively dangerous player."

The Oilers (37-25-9) finished the regular season with 83 points, second in the Pacific Division behind the Vegas Golden Knights (86).

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