The 2015 NHL Draft is still a few months away, but that event is very much the focus of the players and scouts that have descended upon St. Catharines, ON for the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. And the player that will receive the lion’s share of the attention at this event is Erie Otters forward Connor McDavid, the player expected to have his name called first when Draft Day finally arrives.
Despite a one-month stretch where he was off the ice due to an injury, McDavid has done nothing this season to make observers think that he won’t ultimately become the generational talent that he has been touted as being for the past several years. He is producing points at a nearly three points-per-game clip (60 points in 23 games) and recently was among the leading scorers at the 2015 World Junior Championship where he and his Canadian teammates won gold.
And as expected over the past couple of days at this event, the media has been asking the players, coaches, and anyone associated with the event what they think of the game’s next superstar. With that in mind, below are some McDavid-centric quotes culled from various media scrums that have taken place since the players first arrived in St. Catharines on Tuesday.
Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting
Marr on what separates a generational talent from the other, top players.
“There’s always a tendency to compare to other former great players – Sidney Crosby is the one player I like to relate him to – the one thing that they have in common the most is that, Connor McDavid is not out there playing for himself, playing for goals, playing for points. He plays a team game, he plays to win. And that’s where he is most similar to Crosby, because they’re out there to win, they play a really smart team game, and you don’t see any selfish aspects to his play.”
Don Cherry, Hockey Night in Canada commentator
Cherry on watching McDavid from a young age.
“I amuse myself when I hear everybody talking about McDavid. My son and I – as you know, I’ve scouted many times – we go out and we saw him when he was in Bantam. And they brought him up, I remember the Marlies had a couple of injuries in the playoffs, they brought up him and another guy, Roland McKeown, so I’ve seen him since he was 15. You could see right off the bat, he had that magic. I remember when they started in junior here, in the first two games and he didn’t look too good, I said wait until he gets rolling a little bit. But he’s one of those guys that comes along every 10 years.”
Dylan Strome, Erie Otters forward and McDavid’s teammate
Strome on trying to shutdown his teammate when they go head-to-head at the CHL Top Prospects Game.
“I don’t know, it’s tough, I can’t really do it in practice. He’s a special player – I’m sure there’s going to be a “D” pair matched up against him, so we’re just trying to do whatever we can to stop him.”
Adam Musil, forward for the Red Deer Rebels and for Team Cherry.
Musil on how Team Cherry will handle McDavid.
“For sure, he’s a good player, but we’ve just got to be hard on him and not give him as much space.”
Bobby Orr, former NHL great and McDavid’s agent
Orr on what makes McDavid a special player.
“He might have a chance (laughs). Kids like Connor – we all see how they play – you’ve got to have enough time with Connor to see what kind of kid he is. He’s a wonderful player, a wonderful young man, and he’s going to represent our game so well for a long, long time. He’s one of those kids that comes along once in a while – loves the game, has a great passion for the game, respects the game. He has a level that he plays at, we all have levels that we play at, and he has a level way up here, and he will play at that level consistently.”
Travis Konecny, forward for the Ottawa 67’s
Konecny on playing on a line with McDavid at the Top Prospects Game
“Just keeping things simple, try not to do too much when he has the puck, use my speed and go to the net and be ready, and I know it’s going to come to me…We’re going to play our games, and hopefully we complement each other well – I’ve never played with him – so we’ll see how it works.”
Timo Meier, forward for the Halifax Mooseheads
Meier on what makes McDavid a special talent.
“I think he’s just a complete package. He’s a great guy off the ice, too, and on the ice he’s just as impressive. His skills, how fast he is, just, I think, the whole package that he brings together is just incredible.”
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