Connor McDavid becomes fourth player in NHL history to nab 100 assists in a season

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Connor McDavid becomes fourth player in NHL history to nab 100 assists in a season

EDMONTON — Connor McDavid has gotten used to the number 100, having reached or surpassed the century mark in points in seven of his nine NHL seasons. He can now add assists to his resume.

The Edmonton Oilers captain recorded a helper on a second-period goal by Zach Hyman in a 9-2 win over against the San Jose Sharks on Monday to hit the 100-assist threshold in a season. He became just the fourth player in league history to accomplish the feat and the first since Wayne Gretzky in 1990-91.

“It’s probably the hardest (thing) he’s accomplished,” said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, McDavid’s teammate for his entire NHL career. “You can’t really be surprised with the things he does every year.

“Before the year, you probably didn’t think it was possible for it to happen in this day and age.”

McDavid joins Gretzky (11 times), Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr — three inner-circle Hockey Hall of Famers — as the only players in this group.

“Those three, obviously, are three of the greatest players to ever play,” McDavid said. “To share a little something with them, it means a lot to me.”

The way in which McDavid reached the milestone on Monday couldn’t have been more perfect. McDavid set up Hyman for an easy tap-in goal, the 25th primary assist he’s recorded on his linemate’s 54 markers this season.

“We’ve scored that type of goal a bunch this year,” Hyman said. “To be a part of it is pretty cool. You’re part of history.”

“We’ve both benefitted from playing with each other,” McDavid said. “It was fitting.”

McDavid got off to an awful start to the season by his standards with 10 points in his first 11 games — the Oilers’ first 13 after missing two contests due to injury. Since then, he has 122 points in 64 games — a period that coincides with Kris Knoblauch replacing Jay Woodcroft as coach.

His torrid offensive production got him back in the scoring race. McDavid moved to first place for the first time all season on March 30 but was overtaken again by Nathan MacKinnon and Nikita Kucherov when games finished that night.

Missing three games with a lower-body injury last week crushed his chances at winning his sixth Art Ross Trophy.

McDavid got to 100 assists this season just before Kucherov. The Tampa Bay Lightning winger recorded his 99th assist on Monday in his 80th game. Kucherov has played five more games than McDavid. Kucherov leads the way with 142 points, MacKinnon is second with 138 points and McDavid is next at 132 in the final week of the season.

But getting to 100 assists, something so few before him have done, is another feather in his cap.

That’s just the kind of season it’s been for McDavid. He scored the opening goal against the Sharks, his 32nd of the season — or half his output from 2022-23 when he won the Rocket Richard Trophy.

McDavid went through a 10-game goalless skid in February, which matched the longest drought of his career. However, he had 23 assists during that period, which got him in the conversation for triple digits.

“I had that weird stretch where I didn’t have any goals but had a bunch of assists,” McDavid said. “That was when I was made aware of it.

“It’s not something that you set out to do. It’s a product of playing with some really good players, playing on a good team and putting in a lot of hard work.”

McDavid, 27, is also trying to become the third-fastest player to notch 1,000 career points.

Former New York Islanders great Mike Bossy is No. 3 on the list, having needed just 656 games. McDavid has 982 points in 644 games. He requires 18 points in 11 games to best Bossy. That chase will have to wait until the fall.

Gretzky and Lemieux hit 1,000 points in 424 and 513 games, respectively.

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(Photo: Leila Devlin / Getty Images)