Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel: Believe the Hype

            The 2015 NHL entry draft came with an unusual amount of fanfare, largely because the top two prospects were potential “gamechangers”. Not since the 2005 draft that featured Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have two players in one draft been considered so special. These two future stars, Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, were selected by the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres respectively. Centers McDavid and Eichel, both only 19 years old, will forever be linked by their draft status and have already shown they were worthy of the attention. 

            Edmonton’s young gun, McDavid, has had a bit of a rocky rookie season. He was able to play in only 13 games before breaking his left clavicle and missing the next 37. In his limited playing time however, he has been nearly unstoppable. As of February 29, he has 29 points in only 27 games and is scoring on an incredible 18.2% of his shots. The Oilers’ roster is filled with top young talent due to their lottery luck, but McDavid is the true star.

            Eichel has been able to stay healthy the entire season, and is showing he was also worthy of the top pick. On a team lacking many offensive weapons, he has managed 41 points in 63 games. Not to be outdone by McDavid’s success, Eichel has picked up his play significantly recently, scoring 25 points in his last 26 games. The Sabres were one of the worst teams in the NHL the last two years, but Eichel is playing a major role in turning the franchise around.

            Unfortunately for fans, the two play in different conferences and rarely meet head to head. The first such meeting will take place on March 1st in Buffalo. McDavid was injured for the previous matchup between the teams on Dec. 4th. Eichel scored in that game, but his team fell 4-2.

            While we won’t see them facing off a lot, we may see them as teammates soon. No, neither one will be traded, but both could be on the 2016 World Cup of Hockey under 23 team from North America. Taking place later this year, this tournament showcases the best players in the world, and barring injury, it is a sure thing that both McDavid and Eichel will make the squad.

            Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have been two of the premier hockey players for the last ten years, but it will soon be time for them to step aside. With Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel on the way, the game will be in good hands.

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