Connor McDavid’s arrival to the NHL has long been anticipated. The first overall pick in June has already been named among some of the greatest hockey players to ever lace up a pair of skates, including Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. McDavid is the most hyped prospect since Sidney Crosby, and look how Crosby did. “Generational” talents do pretty well in the NHL. Sid The Kid has been the best player in the league for a while now, and he’s only 28 and has plenty left in the tank. Crosby put up obscene numbers as a rookie, scoring 39 goals and dishing out 63 assists, finishing sixth in scoring. He didn’t even win the Calder Memorial Trophy (rookie of the year). He was runner up to Alexander Ovechkin. Will McDavid put up those numbers in his rookie year? Potentially. McDavid and Jack Eichel, the top two picks in this years draft will be compared to Crosby and Ovechkin, due to their skill levels, and superstar potential. In fact, McDavid almost committed to Boston University along with Eichel, which would have been unfair.
McDavid has put up video game numbers in every level of competition. McDavid posted ridiculous numbers as he totaled 79 goals and 130 assists playing for the Greater Toronto Hockey League, McDavid became just the third player to receive the “Exceptional Player” status. This meant that he could move up to the Ontario Hockey League, the best amateur league in hockey worldwide, a year early. The only other two to be blessed with that honor, John Tavares and Aaron Ekblad, both of whom were first overall picks.
In the OHL, McDavid continued to dominate. At the ripe young age of 15, McDavid tallied 66 points against top NHL prospects, not too bad for a rookie. The next season, his production jumped up to 99 points, on 28 goals and 71 assists. In his last season playing for the Erie Otters in the OHL, McDavid broke his hand, causing him to miss significant time. But no matter, domination once again ensued as he lit opponents up night in and night out for 44 goals and 76 assists in just 44 games. In the playoffs, McDavid scored 21 goals and had 28 assists for 49 points in 20 games.
If that doesn’t convince you that he’s legit, this might. In International play, playing against top players from across the Earth, McDavid led Team Canada to a gold medal and scored 11 points in just seven games.
And if THAT doesn’t persuade you, a couple of NHL’ers have already given the rookie high praise. The Great One, Wayne Gretzky offered this little tidbit about McDavid in an interview with The Province, “He’s as good as I’ve seen in the last 30 years, the best player to come into the league in the last 30 years, the best to come along since (Mario) Lemieux and (Sidney) Crosby. He can definitely change a franchise’s fortunes.” If that wasn’t enough, Gretzky also said “I hope he brings Edmonton a Stanley Cup and he breaks my records .. he’s got the talent and the makeup to do it. I hope he leaves a couple for me, though. I could use that.” Wayne Gretzky said that. The greatest hockey player ever. Will McDavid break his records? Doubtful, basically impossible. Nobody will ever come close to touching those records. McDavid still has Hall of Fame potential.
McDavid is definitely ready for his NHL debut tomorrow night against the St. Louis Blues. Hell, he’s probably been ready since he was 16. He’s ready to dominate today. Steven Stamkos, who happens to be a superstar in his own right, shares the same sentiments while talking with ESPN: “This guy is a special kid, I think he’s better than me right now. I wouldn’t have a second thought on saying that.” When asked about how McDavid compares to him at the age of 18, Stamkos said “Oh, he’s way better,” Stamkos said. “He is good. The best I’ve seen for a player that age.” Sidney Crosby and I’m willing to bet a lot of NHL players would agree with Stamkos.
Connor McDavid is a stud. No qualms about it. He glides on the ice and possesses elite hands. He’s got great size and uses it bully defenders. He can skate around you, through you, over you (kidding). He should be on the first line tomorrow night. Him and Taylor Hall are already a lethal combo. If you still don’t believe me that this kid is legit, watch this highlight tape, or this one, whatever one you want. I could go on and on about how great he is and how great he could be, but I’ll let his play do the talking.