Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Edmonton Oilers

ROSTER REBOOT: Leon Draisaitl

The German forward embodies his teammates' ambition of returning to the playoffs after posting a career year individually with 105 points and 50 goals in 2018-19

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

EdmontonOilers.com is checking in with Oilers players and prospects in our Roster Reboot series as they discuss their summer activities and gear up for the 2019-20 season.

EDMONTON, AB - Leon Draisaitl knows how the old saying goes:

"It takes a team to win."

The dynamic German forward put up exceptional numbers in 2018-19 for the Oilers, suiting up in all 82 games while recording his first-career 100-point and 50-goal campaigns as one of six players in the NHL to reach triple digits for points and one of only two players to eclipse the half-century for goals alongside Alex Ovechkin.

Draisaitl was an unrelenting force beside Connor McDavid on the first line for most of last season as the duo combined for 91 of the club's 229 goals.

In addition to his on-ice success in the NHL, Draisaitl has become a staple in the international scene for his home nation. The forward led the German National Team in scoring at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia, along with embracing his new-found role as a leader for the program by sporting an 'A' at the senior level for the first time.

But the Oilers fell outside the playoff picture for the third time in his four full seasons in Edmonton, and the 24-year-old would've gladly traded individual success for collective gain if given the opportunity.

Video: EDM@CGY: Draisaitl wires wrister to join 50-goal club

 

"It's really frustrating, obviously," Draisaitl said in Toronto on Wednesday. "It's a team sport and we all play the game to make the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup. We don't play games to break records, obviously that comes along with it, but you play the game to be successful as a team and we haven't been doing that. Hopefully we can turn things around."

It's been an off-season of change for the Oilers, stretching from the on-ice personnel to the one that assembles it. Beginning at the top with the addition of President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Ken Holland before moving behind the bench to head coach Dave Tippett, it all points towards progress for Draisaitl.

"I think so. I think we made some good changes," he said. "We added some good depth players. Hopefully we can change a few things and get over the hump."

"[Holland] is obviously a man that's been around a long time and he's made very good teams. He built very good teams in Detroit and we hope he can do the same with us."

Video: Leon Draisaitl settles in at No. 6 on Top 20 Wings

Among the on-ice additions in a bid to score more goals this upcoming season is James Neal, who's been touted by Holland as an offensive contributor that can line up in the Oilers top-six with any combination of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, McDavid and Draisaitl.

"Hopefully he can get back to producing the way that he has been," Draisaitl said. "Obviously, he had a little bit of a down year last year but guys always bounce back. We hope he can do the same for us."

Despite a record year for the German, he's prepared to not rest on his laurels and turn his most productive season into a regular sight while harking back to the hope that his contributions help lead the Oilers back to the postseason in 2019-20.

"There's always things that you can improve on," he said. "Obviously, I would like to be productive again and get to those numbers but at the same time, there are things that I can work on or get better at away from the puck. That's something I'm focusing on. But again, it's a team game.

"We want to make the playoffs and we want to have a good year. That's where my mind is at and that's what I'm focused on."

View More