“Looking back, it was definitely the best thing that happened to me.”
He’s the reigning Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner and one of the top players in the National Hockey League.
But there was a point earlier in Edmonton Oilers star Leon Draisaitl’s career when such hardware and distinctions couldn’t have looked farther away.
His rookie season, 2014-15, was underwhelming, split between the Oilers and junior. And Year 2 started with Draisaitl being sent to the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors on the eve of the season.
Draisaitl’s time in the American Hockey League was brief and the production was modest. But what happened there helped pave the way to greatness.