Connor McDavid Earns High Praise From Gretzky


Everyone knows that Connor McDavid is the likely top pick in the upcoming NHL draft. He will likely be selected by the Edmonton Oilers, and a former star of theirs has some high praise for the potential super star.

Since the turn of the century, we have seen several “super prospects” and their pre-draft hype; some of those include Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, and Nail Yakupov, all whom were first overall picks to the Oilers.

As the Oilers have continued to struggle, their hope now is that McDavid could turn them around.

And The Great One agrees with this assessment.

“He’s as good as I’ve seen in the last 30 years, the best player to come into the league in the last 30 years,” said Gretzky to the Edmonton Journal “the best to come along since (Mario) Lemieux and (Sidney) Crosby.

“He can definitely change a franchise’s fortunes.”

The Oilers had an 11.5% chance of having the opportunity to draft McDavid, a forward with the Erie Otters, despite finishing with the third worst record ahead of the Buffalo Sabres and Arizona Coyotes.

McDavid led the Ontario Hockey League in the 2014-2015 season with 120 points in 47 regular season games with the Otters, the top ranked team going into the OHL playoffs.

“I hope he brings Edmonton a Stanley Cup and he breaks my records,” said Gretzky in the same article “He’s got the talent and the makeup to do it. I hope he leaves a couple for me, though. I could use that.

“This may be the one player who can get the Oilers over the hump,” he said. “Maybe this is a step forward for the whole city, not just the organization.”

High praise for certain from one of the best of all time. Gretzky was a coach with the Coyotes for several years and there has been some speculation he could become the Oilers head coach at some point. Does his praise of Edmonton’s likely new star indicate this in any way?

Could McDavid be the one to finally bring the Oilers back to contention in the NHL? It feels like we have had this discussion for the past five years now. First it was Taylor Hall. Next it was Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov, and all the meanwhile the Oilers have remained a floormat in the western conference. Now the Oilers, thanks to the NHL draft lottery, have a gift that has fallen into their collective laps. How will they use it?

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