Fantasy Hockey Coach - Hockey Pool and Keeper Hockey Advice - The Press Box Oct 3, 2012

  • The Press Box Oct 3, 2012

    One on One with Connor McDavid

    The Erie Otters have started their 2012-2013 OHL season on the road, and after a disappointing season the previous year they enter the new season armed with top picks Oscar Dansk and Connor McDavid.

    McDavid is the most recent recipient of the OHL exceptional status award granting him entry into the OHL priority draft last summer a year early at the age of 15.

    After their overtime loss to the Frontenacs in Kingston I had the chance to speak with McDavid. This is me one-on-one with Connor McDavid:

    Peter Harling: Connor, congratulations on being granted the exceptional status and receiving early status into the OHL. What can you tell me about that?

    Connor McDavid: Well it was a pretty long process, pretty stressful process. Combined with the season so it was a long year and I couldn't be happier about it.

    PH: A lot of people probably don't know much about the exceptional status, what can you tell me about the criteria required to meet for the status?

    CMcD: First you do an application. You send it off to (Hockey Canada) and they deal with it. They come watch you play and you deal with a couple interviews and write an essay. They really do a whole life thing to make sure you are fit for the part, and make sure you can handle the whole leaving your family, and live the OHL life style.

    PH: Does the league speak to the team who holds the first overall draft choice to ensure they will draft you?

    CMcD: No, that's not what they do. They have their own system and hockey Canada deals with the OHL.

    PH: What was plan B if you were not granted the exceptional status?

    CMcD: Plan B would have been to play for my local AAA team, or minor midget again, or play for the local junior A team.

    PH: Were you ever considering NCAA at any point?

    CMcD: Yeah we went down to Boston for a couple university trips. I had personal visit with Boston U, they sat me down and talked to me. Ultimately they offered me a scholarship. I was really blown away by the whole facility. I just felt the OHL was the best route.

    PH: What kind of pressure have you found the exceptional status has brought?

    CMcD: I get that question a lot, I just try not to think about it too much and just try to focus on the team. Its a little bit difficult to come here and people are chanting your name and taunting a little bit I guess. It gets a little bit rowdy but its part of the deal I guess.

    PH: What are some of the best ribs you have taken so far?

    CMcD: Not too much on the ice, probably just joking ones, ya know in the room from your own teammates.

    PH: I didn't see it but I heard you took a bit of a hit from Dougie Hamilton in your first game, what can you tell me about that hit?

    CMcD: Yeah seems everyone knows about that. Everyone's taken it a little further than it needs to go. Obviously it was a pretty good hit, but if you watch the replay there was a battle and I was away from the puck, there was a guy who falls and he was right underneath me and (Hamilton) comes and pushes me and I fell back on that guy.

    PH: So he broke your fall!

    CMcD: No, no I just tripped over him.

    PH: Who do you compare yourself to, what NHL player do you model your game after?

    CMcD: I try to model my game after Claude Giroux or Pavel Datsyuk. They're pretty good offensively, Well there not pretty good they are amazing offensive guys. But the reason I try to model my game after them is their defensive side of the game and how they can be out there in the last couple of minutes to stop a goal, I try to be that guy.

    PH: What are your expectations for yourself for this season?

    CMcD: I try not to put numbers on anything. I dont think points determine much, I just play my game within the system.

    PH: There has been a lot of talk about how Erie finished last season and now that they have added you and Oscar Dansk to the lineup Erie has two solid foundation building pieces, what are your thoughts on the team building around you and Oscar?

    CMcD: I don't think they are building around just me and Oscar, we have some really good young players in Connor Brown and Stephen Harper, and so many good young guys and a lot of good older guys. I think we will be good this year but I am really looking forward to the next couple of years.

    PH: Are you looking at cracking the Canadian World Jr. roster at any point?

    CMcD: Obviously at some point! When that will come, I don't know but its always been a huge dream of mine.

    PH: Thank you so much for your time

    CMcD: No problem.

    Coach Pete Harling

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