Rewind to June 26, 2015 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. The 2015 NHL Entry Draft was minutes from beginning. The top two prospects were Canadian Connor McDavid and American Jack Eichel, both of whom were vying to be the first overall selection. In the end, it was McDavid that left Florida as the first overall selection by the Edmonton Oilers, and Eichel that left as the second overall pick by the Buffalo Sabres.
Fast forward to December 8, 2019. McDavid and Eichel are the undisputed superstars of their respective teams, and Eichel and his team are in Edmonton to face off against McDavid for the seventh time in their respective careers. Sunday night’s game marked the ninth time the Oilers and Sabres have met since 2015, but McDavid and Eichel each missed one of those games with an injury. Since both came into the NHL in the 2015-16 season, Eichel and McDavid have faced off against each other six times prior to Sunday night, with each of them winning three times. Eichel took the edge on Sunday night, after beating McDavid and the Oilers by score of 3-2 in overtime to lead 4-3 in the battle of the first two 2015 draft picks.
Looking at stats against each other, Eichel has recorded 4 goals and 5 assists for 9 points against McDavid, and McDavid has recorded 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points against Eichel. So both players are very even in that regard, with Eichel holding the slight advantage.
But let’s look at the career statistics of each player now. In 317 career games, Jack Eichel has posted 119 goals and 182 assists for 301 points, while McDavid has posted 147 goals and 277 assists for 424 points in 319 career games. So when you break this down further, McDavid has played just two more games in his career than Eichel has, and has 123 more points. In fact, McDavid nearly has more assists than Eichel has points altogether. Apart from this, McDavid has a career +52 rating, while Eichel’s rating is over one hundred points lower at -55. This is an enormous difference in +/- between these two stars.
Looking at awards that each player has won in the NHL, McDavid also has the advantage over his counterpart. He has won the Art Ross Trophy (given to the league’s highest scoring player) twice, the Hart Memorial Trophy (given the league’s Most Valuable Player) once, and the Ted Lindsay Award (given to the league MVP as chosen by players in the NHL) twice. McDavid is also a three-time NHL All-Star. Jack Eichel, on the other hand, has failed to win any NHL awards in his career so far, but has been named to the All-Star team twice.
When it come to the playoffs, McDavid has the edge once again. McDavid has played playoff hockey once in his career in the 2016-17 season, when he and the Oilers made it to the second round, ultimately being defeated by the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7. The Sabres have yet to make the playoffs with Eichel on the team. When you look at career points per game, McDavid’s point-per-game ratio is 1.33, while Eichel’s is 0.95.
So, now that we’ve compared some basic stats between McDavid and Eichel, let’s do a recap:
Wins against one another: Eichel
Goals against one another: Eichel
Assists against one another: Tie
Points against one another: Eichel
Career goals: McDavid
Career assists: McDavid
Career points: McDavid
Career +/- rating: McDavid
NHL awards: McDavid
All-Star appearances: McDavid
Playoff appearances: McDavid
Career points per game: McDavid
When you tally that up, McDavid leads in eight categories, Eichel leads in three, and they are dead even in one. So when it comes to the first two picks of the 2015 draft class, Jack Eichel has the better statistics playing against Connor McDavid, but McDavid leads Eichel in every other category in their careers. It’s quite clear which draft pick has enjoyed the most success so far.
Featured photo courtesy of Jeff Vinnick / The Hockey News
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