Meet Hockey’s Next Big Thing, 17 Year Old Connor McDavid.

This Is Why Connor McDavid Is Hockey's Next Big Thing

“He reminds me of me,” – Sidney Crosby

DeadSpinMcDavid is a 6-foot, 185-pound (and growing) center from Newmarket, Ontario. He is the odds-on favorite to be the first overall pick in the 2015 draft. He’d likely go first in this summer’s draft, if he were eligible. Hell, he’d have gone early last year. The hype machine is already in overdrive, with McDavid being called “the Next Great One” and “the LeBron James of Hockey.”

McDavid’s teammates describe him as an unselfish, passing center, an elite skater who eagerly backchecks and who seems to be playing the game in some sort of time dilation. Look at the stickhandling in the video above—as they once said about Wayne Gretzky, the game looks slower to him than it does to anyone else on the ice.

He was born for this. The legend is already well-established by now: At age three, the first time he ever strapped on ice skates, he released his father’s hand and being skating around the rink; At four, his parents lied about his age so he could begin playing hockey; By age 12 he was dominating adult pickup games; At age 15, he was granted “exceptional player status” and declared eligible for the OHL draft a year earlier, only the third player to earn that distinction since it was created in 2005. The first? John Tavares. Again with the comparisons to other players, but they’re all flattering.

In his first season with the Erie Otters, the then-high-school-sophomore put up a point a game and was named the OHL’s rookie of the year. Now in his second, he’s found another gear—through 51 games, McDavid has 22 goals and 64 assists. But the OHL is notoriously high-scoring, and the world didn’t truly take notice until he was pitted against his international peers. At the U18 championships last April, McDavid—two years younger than just about everyone else—scored eight goals and six assists in seven games.

Have to admit, I’ve never heard of this kid before now, but after watching these highlights videos I’m convinced. This little dude has got the stuff. He can wheel for days, his hands are lethal weapons, and he’s got the magic eye. No reason he can’t be the “next great one” or the “Lebron of hockey” (which might be the dumbest hype name of all time).

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