Any hype and attention involving the Edmonton Oilers tends to start with superstar rookie Connor McDavid. Leon Draisaitl is generating some of his own, along with some goals.
While McDavid is the reigning NHL Rookie of the Month, Draisaitl looks to continue his dazzling start to the season Tuesday night against the struggling Philadelphia Flyers.
Edmonton (4-8-0) selected McDavid first overall in last summer's draft, and he's living up to the hype of becoming the NHL's next star. The center's 12 points lead all rookies and put him among the overall leaders.
"(His game has) matured already," first-year Oilers coach Todd McLellan told the team's official website of McDavid. "For an 18-year-old, you don't think it's going to advance that quick but his game has matured in a lot of different areas. He went from being a player to a catalyst on the team. I think that's real important."
Draisaitl is proving to be valuable in a much shorter period of time. The third overall selection in 2014, the center has three goals and five points in two games since being called up from Bakersfield of the AHL on Thursday. He only scored twice and had seven assists in 37 games as a rookie last season.
Draisaitl's was terrific again Saturday, netting one goal and setting up two others before goaltender Cam Talbot gave up a goal with 8.7 seconds left in a 5-4 loss to Calgary.
Draisaitl, however, is benefiting from playing on the Oilers' top line with left wing Taylor Hall and center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Hall leads the team with 13 points while Nugent-Hopkins has seven during a five-game streak.
"I think, along with a lot of guys on our team, we're starting to figure out what we need to do as a team and how (McLellan) wants us to play," Hall said. "It's been nice to have Leon along with Ryan on our line. We seem to be working well lately."
Edmonton is 4-0-1 in its last five home meetings with Philadelphia after Nugent-Hopkins' second goal came in overtime of a 5-4 win March 21. He has four goals and one assist the last three matchups.
The Flyers (4-5-2) have been outscored 15-6 while losing four games in a row with the last three coming in regulation. They only scored once in each of those games, including Monday's 4-1 loss at Vancouver to drop to 1-3-1 on the road.
"We're not happy and these aren't easy times, but the group will stay together and keep working hard," coach Dave Hakstol told the team's official website. "I thought we had a more concerted effort to get some bodies to the blue paint."
Philadelphia hasn't dropped five straight overall since Dec. 27-Jan. 3.
Claude Giroux has scored three of his four goals on the season over the past three road games. The captain had two goals at Edmonton in March, giving him eight points in seven career matchups.
Jakub Voracek had three assists in the last meeting with the Oilers, and he has two goals and six assists over his past four.
All four of the right wing's points this season are assists, and his 11 games without a goal matches the longest season-opening drought of his career set in 2010-11.