McDavid offers lottery winner a 'generational' talent

Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:56pm EDT
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By Tim Wharnsby

(Reuters) - Last week, Erie Otters wunderkind Connor McDavid made a play that even had veteran scouts in the crowd shaking their heads in amazement.

This is a common occurrence for the 18-year-old McDavid, the prize of Saturday's National Hockey League draft lottery that will determine which team gets the opportunity to select the top-rated prospect at the 2015 draft in late June.

McDavid continued his mind-blowing ways, when the left-shooting center cruised in on his off wing, slipped a backhand pass through two defenders to trailing teammate Alex DeBrincat for an easy third-period goal in the Otters' second-round series opener against the London Knights last week.

"On plays like that you usually see the puck carrier take a quick glance for a teammate," Arizona Coyotes scout Jeff Twohey told Reuters. "But he didn't even look.

"He has vision and speed. But he has a second gear to blow opponents away. His vision is why he is so creative. He's a complete package. That's why he's considered a generational player."

Even a veteran junior hockey man like 75-year-old Sherry Bassin, the Otters general manager, has run out of words of praise for his teenaged superstar.

"I think (Barrie Colts coach) Dale Hawerchuk said it best," Bassin told Reuters. "Dale told me that Connor skates like Bobby Orr, sees the ice like Wayne Gretzky and handles the puck like Mario Lemieux. Anybody who knows hockey knows this is the highest of praise."

Bassin remarked McDavid is extremely humble and would rather credit his teammates. This is not an easy act, considering how prolific the whiz kid has been in his third year of junior.   Continued...

Canada's Connor McDavid (17) celebrates his goal against the United State during the third period of their IIHF World Junior Championship ice hockey game in Malmo, Sweden, in this file photo taken on December 31, 2013. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk