The ruling is in – Connor McDavid is exceptional.
For the second consecutive year, Hockey Canada has granted exceptional status to a 15-year-old, allowing McDavid to enter the Ontario Hockey League Priority Draft a year early. McDavid was named Greater Toronto Hockey League’s player of the year, scoring 72 points (33-39) in 33 games this season with the Toronto Malboros. He was also named MVP of the OHL Cup Showcase Tournament.
“McDavid is the most impressive prospect that I have seen in my five years of viewing minor midget hockey,” Future Considerations scout Sean Lafortune said. “He’s impressed me more then (Tyler) Seguin, (Jeff) Skinner, (Erik) Gudbranson and other soon to be NHL Stars.”
McDavid had to apply for the status and pass through an evaluation process assessing his level of maturity, hockey and academic work.
“When you watch him play, you don’t see an underage player,” Lafortune said. ” You don’t think of him as a 97. You see him perform, and just acknowledge that he is the best prospect on the ice, regardless of his date of birth.”
The five-foot-11, 170-pound centre joins defenseman Aaron Ekblad in 2011 and John Tavares in 2005 as the only players to receive the designation. Both were selected first overall in their respective OHL drafts following their exemption.
McDavid will give Marlboros teammate Josh Ho Sang competition for being picked first in the OHL draft, a selected held by the Erie Otters.
“Hes now a lock to go #1 to Erie,” Lafortune declared.