McDavid and Eichel: The Future of Hockey

And that’s a wrap. What was obvious is now official: Connor McDavid number 1 overall to the Edmonton Oilers and Jack Eichel number 2 overall to the Buffalo Sabres. And so begins a new generation in hockey. 1 vs. 2; Canada vs. USA; OHL vs. College; and these are only just some of the taglines I’m sure we will be seeing in the coming years on NBC when these two square off. Some have been comparing it to the Crosby vs. Ovechkin matchup that dominated headlines early on and rightfully so. But even this comparison might be slighting the potential magnitude of these two squaring of for the next 15 years.

Whether they like it or not, McDavid and Eichel will be linked back to the 2015 NHL Draft for the rest of their lives. They will be constantly be compared to the point of the tireless Jordan vs. LeBron debate in the NBA. And although it may get annoying (hopefully not to the point of me bashing my head against the wall to LeBron montages), these two [smiling] faces are the future of the NHL and of hockey in general.

Jack Eichel by Brian Babineau, Connor McDavid by Adam D’Oliveira

Although it is obviously WAY too early to tell, the future of hockey seems like it is going to be in good hands. McDavid was a shoe-in as the number one pick ever since he threw on an Erie Otters sweater back in 2012. General Managers were fawning all over McDavid when he was just 15 years old. Dallas Star’s GM Jim Nill labeled him a “franchise player” and boldly proclaimed that “he’s going to be the cornerstone of the franchise for 15 years, for 20 years” even before he could drive. At just age 18, McDavid already has the weight of the world on his shoulders up in Edmonton and rightfully so. In just 47 games last year he posted 44 goals and 76 assists (2.55 points per game), outrageous numbers in a competitive OHL league. If you have any more questions about how good Connor McDavid might become just watch the video clip below and try not to drool on yourself.

Though not the childhood prodigy that McDavid was, Mr. Jack Eichel has gained quite the attention of scouts himself. Going the college route, Eichel propelled up mock draft boards all the way to number 2 after a historic season at Boston University. With 26 goals and 45 assists (71 points) in 40 games, Eichel became just the second freshie ever to earn the prestigious Hobey Baker Award as the best player in #cawlidgehockey. McDavid may have more “raw” talent and quicker hands, but Eichel has been lauded for his size and his ability to use his bigger body. If it weren’t for McDavid, Eichel would certainly be the number one pick this year and many scouts have said he would have been a number one pick in many of the previous years’ drafts. Frequent NHL.com and ESPN.com hockey contributor Craig Button stated that Eichel would go “first overall in almost every year since 2005” in an interview with WGR 550. He went on to praise Eichel even further: “He’s fabulous, a generational player. He isn’t any less a generational player than McDavid. Power, smarts, skill”.

So Edmonton and Buffalo fans: pray to the hockey Gods for your excellent fortune in landing these two future Hall of Famers. To the rest of hockey fans: enjoy.

*Cover photo used is from the NHL.com. The College Tailgate does not own any of the photos on our website.

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