Why Connor McDavid Is the Next Big Thing in Hockey

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IDecember 31, 2012

Photo Credit: ottershockey.com
Photo Credit: ottershockey.com

After receiving exceptional status to play in the OHL this season as a 15-year-old, Connor McDavid has proven to everyone that he has the skills needed to become the top pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

McDavid's offensive production for the Erie Otters this season has been impressive, and he's already established himself as the team's best forward.

He is on pace to be a point-per-game player this year with 18 goals scored and 22 assists in 35 games.

McDavid plays a lot like Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, who has excelled at the NHL level for three seasons after entering the league at just 18 years old. However, if McDavid reaches his potential, he will be a much better player than Duchene.

McDavid has great speed, and his acceleration is quite amazing. He explodes through the neutral zone and enters the attacking zone with great speed and puck control.

Not only can he score goals with his fantastic wrist shot, he is also an exceptional playmaker because of his vision.

His passing skills have improved quite a bit this season, which has helped him become a complete offensive player. McDavid is also creative player who makes passes that other players wouldn't even attempt.

It's not often that we see a 15-year-old with a skill set this impressive.

If he keeps improving at his current rate, McDavid will easily be a 100-point scorer in his final OHL season.

While McDavid has been phenomenal in the OHL, he has also played exceptionally in international play as well.

On Monday, he was one of the stars for Team Ontario in their match against Slovakia at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

#OHL rookie Connor McDavid @erieotters scores a second period hat-trick leading Team Ontario to a 12-0 win over Slovakia at @hc_wu17

— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) December 31, 2012

McDavid is already one of the OHL's best offensive players, and he's only going to get better as his body continues to get stronger and he gains more experience in junior hockey.

There's no question that he has a skill set good enough to be a great NHL player for a long time, and the biggest challenge for him over the next few years will be to keep blocking out the distractions/expectations and keep developing his game.

Even after signing a deal with Reebok, McDavid has shown that he can still perform at a high level when expectations are as high as they can possibly be.

It would be unfair to put too much pressure on McDavid, especially since he's only 15 years old, but judging by his talent, he has the ability to be the next big thing in hockey.

McDavid is a rare talent, and it would be shocking if he is not the top prospect heading into the 2015 draft. He has the potential to be a once-in-a-generation offensive talent.

Whichever team has the top pick in 2015 will have the opportunity to draft the player who could be the league's next great superstar.


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