NHL fans around the world have been waiting a long time for this day, the day Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel become professional hockey players. McDavid, the all world 18 year old from Ontario, and Eichel, the freshman sensation who wowed fans at Boston U, just outside his hometown of North Chelmsford, Mass. There has never been any doubt these two young men would go one and two, and even less doubt McDavid was the top pick, (contrary to Eichels belief he is in fact the best player) but is there too much hype?
Simply, no. McDavid is the best young talent the league has seen since Sidney Crosby, he’s a generational talent who some believe could exceed the expectations and make Crosby look like an average NHLer. He had a stranglehold on the OHL, playing for the Erie Otters, he put up an unfathomable 120 points in just 47 games. He’ll have the food fortune of having Taylor Hal
l on his line, who is still entering his prime. McDavid has the skating ability and stick skills that compare to a Martin St. Louis type player but he has a bigger frame at 6’1, 195lbs. He needs to bulk up a bit to really survive long term, but fans aren’t looking at youngster who is under sized and was impressive at the OHL level, and “may not be NHL ready’, we’re looking at a kid who will come out and possibly put Edmonton in a much better place then they’ve been in the last decade.
Eichel is surely no slouch either, he had an incredible freshman campaign at Boston U, compiling 71 points in 40 games, and leading his team to the NCAA title game, but fell just short of a championship. Eichel may not be a head taller than McDavid, at just 6’2, 196lbs, but he has a Jumbo Joe Thornton type presence on the ice. He playing with grit, and he has vision on the ice like no other, but he does get knocked for not moving much without the puck. Even though I’d say that’s been working out pretty well for Alex Ovechkin so far. Eichel hasn’t been compared to the NHL golden boys nearly as much as McDavid, but you can expect him to put up similar number, with young stars on his projected first line in Buffalo. He’ll be lining up alongside speedy Tyler Ennis, and bullying goal scorer Evander Kane.
Fans are in for a treat with these two prodigies coming into the league at the same time, and it’s time to polish the crown, because on of these two will soon be NHL Royalty. The season doesn’t start until October, but these guys are winners wherever they go, the expectations are sky high and they’ve been building for months. Buckle up players and fans alike, here we go.