“I call it the burger-flipper.”
That’s how Edmonton Oilers star forward Leon Draisaitl described the unique curve he uses on his sticks -- a blade that has helped him become the only player in the NHL currently riding back-to-back 100-point seasons.
Draisaitl spoke about his infamous piece of equipment Wednesday on Hockey Central, one day after beating out Nathan MacKinnon and Artemi Panarin to win the Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP and the Ted Lindsay Award for most outstanding player according to his peers.
Hockey Central host Jeff Marek aptly called Draisaitl’s stick one that has a “canoe paddle of a blade” that is “rivalled only by Pavel Datsyuk.”
The blade is quite a bit longer and taller than your average stick and Draisaitl has been able to use it to his advantage on the ice.
“My dad (German hockey legend Peter Draisaitl), when he played he used a very similar curve and since I was a young kid I’ve been using it," Draisaitl said. "I made it a little longer because I liked my backhand on it. There’s just so many things that, in my opinion, are very effective having a long blade and being able to control the puck, so I know it looks weird and awkward at times but I love it, I’ve always loved it, and I don’t think I’ll be changing it any time soon.”
The third-overall pick from the 2014 NHL Draft explained he and his teammates will try out each other’s sticks after practice from time to time.
“You see someone else skating around with my stick and it just looks so weird, I’m just like, ‘That does not look right at all,’ so I wonder what I look like.”
To most hockey fans, Draisaitl simply looks like a player they’d love to have on their team.
The 24-year-old from Cologne, Germany also won the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league with 110 points in 71 games.
Since 2016-17, Draisaitl is third in NHL scoring behind only his Oilers teammate Connor McDavid and Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov.
Despite the tremendous individual accomplishments of Draisaitl and McDavid, the Oilers have only won a single playoff series with them.
“Obviously we haven’t had much success over the last couple of years but I think we took a step this year and it’s obviously up to Connor and me now to take the next step and make our team better,” Draisaitl added.