When Connor McDavid arrived in Edmonton, as the first-overall pick in 2015, he was joining a club that hadn't made the playoffs since 2006. The outside expectations weren't very optimistic.
Flash forward to this off-season and expectations are very high for an Oilers team that made a run to the second round of the playoffs this past spring. The change in tone from the outside world means nothing to the captain, who led the NHL in scoring last year.
"I don't think it matters," said McDavid. "It doesn't make a difference at all. We've always had high expectations of ourselves. I felt that even my first year here. We expect ourselves to win even when people on the outside don't expect us to win. Now we just have people on the outside expecting us to win. It doesn't really affect us too much. I'm just excited to get back at it."
The Oilers finished 2016-17 with a record of 47-26-9, good for a second-place finish in the Pacific Division (103 points).