Why Draisaitl is key to the Oilers' future

Leon Draisaitl's quick adjustment to the center position gives Edmonton some options as they continue to rebuild. Andy Devlin/NHLI/Getty Images

This week, the Edmonton Oilers will reach the one-month mark since Connor McDavid went down with a broken clavicle, and it’s gone just about how you might expect for a team that wasn’t necessarily rattling off wins even with McDavid in the lineup.

“If you look at it on paper and the record, we haven’t dealt with it really well,” said Oilers coach Todd McLellan.

The Oilers are still battling under McLellan, picking up three out of a possible four points this weekend in Detroit and Pittsburgh, but none of it is coming easy.

“When you watch them play or play against them, they’re closer into the game than they’ve been,” said one NHL executive on Sunday. “It might not show up in wins, losses and points. I think they’re close.”

And it’s hard to make any evaluation of this team under McLellan and new GM Peter Chiarelli considering we still haven’t seen the full lineup.