Connor McDavid's future with the Oilers dependent on Leon Draisaitl

Graham Montgomery
July 9, 2024  (8:33 PM)

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid speaking with the media
Photo credit: Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers will have their hands full over the next couple of seasons as they decide how to move forward with Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.

Draisaitl is entering the final year of his current contract with the team next season. He is due a massive raise on his current 8 million dollar AAV deal. He was first eligible to sign an extension July 1st, but clearly, that has not happened. During his end-of-season exit interview, Draisaitl was rather coy about his contract negotiations with the team, stating that he loves being an oiler, but not committing beyond that.
«Obviously i love being an oiler more than anything» - Leon Draisaitl on his contract negotiations
Connor McDavid's deal with the team is up after the 2025-26 season. Naturally, his future hinges on what the team decides to do with Draisaitl. Should the team offer the German center a massive extension that we are all expecting, re-signing McDavid the following year should not be too difficult. That being said, NHL insider Chris Johnston has pointed out that whatever happens with Draisaitl, it will be finalized before the Oilers get a chance to negotiate with their captain.
"I don't think he's (Connor McDavid) thinking about leaving," Johnston said. "He doesn't have to think about it yet because two dominoes have to fall first. He can't make a decision till next July 1st anyway. He couldn't sign a contract today if he wanted. He could say to the Oilers, 'I would sign a lifetime contract,' but they're not legally allowed to do it. So, this Draisaitl situation will play out in full or in part before that happens."

Meanwhile, McDavid remains focused on bringing a Stanley Cup to Edmonton. He said as much in his final statement ahead of the offseason.
"A lot of highs and lows this season. Truly a learning experience. Thank you Oil Country for sticking with us to the end. We have the best fans in the league. Keep believing and I can't wait to get back to work next season." - #Oilers Connor McDavid

The next couple of years could potentially shape the Oilers franchise for a decade to come. How they handle McDavid and Draisaitl's contracts will likely determine whether or not the team pulls off their ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.