Welcome to The Athletic’s 2022-23 version of the group season previews. Check out all of the previews as they’re launched right here.

Last season was Edmonton’s first shortly — perhaps ever — that didn’t really feel like a full-fledged waste of Connor McDavid’s expertise.

A Battle of Alberta collection win, some otherworldly playoff stuff from McDavid and a one-legged present from Leon Draisaitl went a good distance. Long sufficient, in reality, to perhaps make you neglect simply how grim the state of affairs was again in February, particularly after a season that began so properly.

This 12 months, the preseason projection isn’t all that totally different. The vibes surrounding the group, although, have taken a significant upward tick. The supporting forged at ahead and the defensive group appear to have stabilized. Jay Woodcroft, who took over after the group cratered in January and February, has demonstrated proof of idea. And two of the 5 finest hockey gamers on the planet are nonetheless sporting blue and orange.

Things could possibly be higher — McDavid simply doubled his profession complete in playoff collection wins in a single journey, which says lots — however they might definitely be worse. The Oilers’ path to a post-80s Stanley Cup is as clear because it’s ever been.

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