Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon are set to faceoff in a playoff series for the first time in their NHL careers.
The Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche play each other in the Western Conference Final beginning Tuesday, May 31st. One of the biggest storylines of the series is McDavid vs MacKinnon.
McDavid and MacKinnon are both former first overall picks who were drafted two years apart. MacKinnon went first overall to the Avalanche in the 2013 NHL Draft, while McDavid was drafted first overall by the Oilers in 2015.
McDavid and MacKinnon are both playing in the Western Conference Final for the first time in their careers. Both players are a series win away from playing in the Stanley Cup Final after suffering major playoff disappointment in the past.
With McDavid vs MacKinnon facing off in their first playoff series, we’d thought we’d examine how they matchup. In this article, we’ll take a look at McDavid vs MacKinnon career regular season, playoff and head-to-head stats.
McDavid vs MacKinnon Regular Season Stats
|Connor McDavid||Career NHL Stats||Nathan MacKinnon|
|1.4||Points Per Game||1.0|
|1,596||Shots On Goal||2,401|
McDavid vs MacKinnon Stats Analysis
The stats don’t lie when analyzing the McDavid vs MacKinnon matchup. While MacKinnon is a fantastic talent, McDavid is the best hockey player in the world. Despite having played in the league for two fewer seasons, McDavid has recorded more NHL regular-season points than MacKinnon. Nate has scored more goals, but Connor is closing the gap quickly.
One thing that sticks out when examining McDavid vs MacKinnon stats is shot volume. MacKinnon has one of the most explosive shots in the game and regularly finishes among the NHL leaders in shots on goal. McDavid’s shot isn’t as powerful, but it’s arguably more accurate. The Oilers’ captain has a much better shooting percentage than MacKinnon.
McDavid’s impressive shooting percentage is also a byproduct of his insane one-on-one skill. McDavid creates multiple prime scoring opportunities for himself every game due to his dazzling stickhandling ability and blazing speed. He’s also a talented playmaker and will pass off in certain instances whereas MacKinnon has more of a shoot-first mentality and is always looking to put pucks on net.
McDavid vs MacKinnon Playoff Stats
|Connor McDavid||NHL Playoff Stats||Nathan MacKinnon|
|1.5||Points Per Game||1.4|
|111||Shots On Goal||261|
McDavid vs MacKinnon Playoff Stats Analysis
As mentioned at the start of this article, neither McDavid or MacKinnon have enjoyed much playoff success prior to 2022. MacKinnon has played in 60 playoff games, while McDavid has played in 33 playoff games. The Avalanche have made the postseason in six of MacKinnon’s first nine years in the league, while the Oilers have only made the playoffs in three of McDavid’s first seven seasons.
While McDavid and MacKinnon had both never made it past Round 2 of the playoffs prior to 2022, it hasn’t been for lack of effort. Both these superstars elevate their game on hockey’s biggest stage. McDavid is producing at a ridiculous rate in the 2022 Playoffs, which has elevated his career playoff points per game rate to 1.5. MacKinnon’s 1.4 playoff points per game is also impressive and a big step-up from his regular-season production.
McDavid is the superior talent, but MacKinnon’s goal-scoring in the playoffs is on another level. Over the past four years, MacKinnon leads all NHL players in postseason goals with 31. The Halifax native has gone beast mode as he tries to lead the Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup since 2001. MacKinnon’s scored a clutch seven career game-winning goals in the playoffs compared to McDavid scoring two game-winners.
McDavid vs MacKinnon Head-to-Head Stats
|Connor McDavid||Head-to-Head Stats||Nathan MacKinnon|
|1.7||Points Per Game||1.1|
|45||Shots On Goal||58|
McDavis vs MacKinnon Head-to-Head Analysis
McDavid vs MacKinnon are facing off in the NHL postseason for the first time in their careers. While this is the first playoff meeting between the two Candian stars, they certainly aren’t strangers. Both the Avalanche and Oilers play in the NHL’s Western Conference, where McDavid and MacKinnon have faced off 14 times in their careers. The Oilers have won more head-to-head meetings and McDavid has outproduced MacKinnon head-to-head.
McDavid thrives playing the Avalanche, as his 1.68 career points per game versus the Avs are among his highest rate against one NHL team. McDavid’s stats vs MacKinnon are bolstered by a dominant six-point performance in 2019 (see video above). MacKinnon, meanwhile, is a point-per-game player vs McDavid but has only managed six goals in 14 head-to-head meetings.
While McDavid has been the better player head-to-head, MacKinnon has the edge lately. During the 2021-22 NHL regular season, the Avalanche and Oilers met three times. Colorado won two of the three meetings vs Edmonton and MacKinnon scored in each game. The Avs did a good job neutralizing McDavid this season, holding the Oilers’ phenom to only four assists in three regular-season meetings in 2021-22.