How good is Connor McDavid? He’s not draft eligible until 2015 and he’s already at the center of the prospect world. If he was available to NHL teams this summer, he very well could still go first overall. And he’s the No. 1 reason (Jack Eichel being No. 2) why the Islanders may be wise to give Buffalo their first round pick this year to consummate the Thomas Vanek trade, despite the fact it could be a top five selection, and not risk losing next year’s. The entire draft is supposed to be deep, but McDavid stands as the ultimate prize.
And it’s plays like these that draw comparisons between McDavid and Sidney Crosby or any other quick and elite NHL scorer.
This highlight is from Wednesday night’s game between the Ontario League’s Erie Otters and Plymouth Whalers. The Otters thumped the Whalers 11-2. This was McDavid’s only goal on the night – that slacker – but he also had three assists.
Poor Alex Peters, the defenseman wearing No. 2.
McDavid, of course, was the third to be granted exceptional player status and early entry into the OHL, a group that includes John Tavares and 2014 draft eligible defenseman Aaron Ekblad. Last year as a rookie, he scored 25 goals and 66 points in 63 games. This year he’s played in 51 games and has put up 22 goals and 86 points. He also played at the WJC over the Christmas Holidays, scoring four points in seven games at a tournament where 19-year-olds flourish.
The Toronto native has been focused on as the head of the 2015 draft for at least two years already, though he has a challenger in Eichel. But as Taylor Hall and Nathan MacKinnon, two other consensus No. 1s, experienced in the lead up to their drafts, McDavid can expect his game to be picked apart by critics like it never has been before.
But when 2015 rolls around and the NHL gathers in Florida, McDavid will surely go No. 1.
Because no GM holding the No. 1 pick would want to be the guy who passed up this talent.