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IN DEPTH: The Dynamic

They are the most lethal set of scorers in the National Hockey League since 2016-17, becoming known as the Dynamic Duo. What, exactly, makes Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl so dynamic?

by Paul Gazzola /

There's Connor McDavid. He's standing in the crease during warmups with his right hand clutching the knob of his stick, casting his blade inside the net to fish for a puck. He pushes off to his left and there he is now, doing crossover after crossover around the faceoff circle like Hot Wheels on a track. He does a loop then picks the far corner of the cage with a twitch of the wrists.

There, above the goal-line to the side of the crease, is Leon Draisaitl. He stands with three pucks in front of him, shoulders sunk, watching his mate McDavid ring around at Internet speed. McDavid opens, Draisaitl passes, and before the blink of an eye, the puck is in the net. 

There's McDavid again, still spinning, and there's a group of at least 50 kids at the glass, dizzy. They don Oilers jerseys and raise homemade signs, and they watch Draisaitl pass to McDavid again in the slot. This time, McDavid sends it back and without a dust-off, Draisaitl puts it in the net. The fans watch it happen once more and then are left staring at the number 97 when McDavid heads off.

There's Draisaitl, still lingering. He positions himself in the centre of the crease, stickhandling forehand to backhand then lifting pucks top shelf. He does it several times then turns to face the opposition's zone. The horn sounds to signal the end of warmups and he launches a puck in the air. He motions towards the bench as the last player to leave the ice, not caring to watch the black disc soar above three zones like a flying saucer and crash land into the visiting net. 

This is just a microcosm of the universe McDavid and Draisaitl live in. A warmup routine that is ripe with foreshadowing. The give-and-goes, the filled nets and the fandom have all become a common occurrence since the Dynamic Duo first developed, and there's been no shortage of accolades in their orbit ever since.

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