Editorials

NHL Rankings: 5 Western Conference Calder Candidates

By Matt Barbato
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Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Connor McDavid walks off the stage after being selected as the number one overall pick to the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

1. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

This is a bit obvious, as the first overall pick has been compared to the great Sidney Crosby. McDavid is the real deal and has scouts gushing over his potential. The hockey gods were looking down on the fledgling Oilers when they won the McDavid lottery this offseason.

McDavid was teammates with the aforementioned Strome in Erie, which makes it hard to fathom how the Otters lost in the OHL Finals in five games. McDavid scored 44 goals and added 76 assists last season in only 47 games, or 21 fewer games than his teammate Strome. Had he played 10 more games, he likely would have won the league’s scoring title.

The 18-year old Canadian center has been ranked as the consensus top prospect in this draft class. He has great hockey instincts and the scoring and playmaking abilities to go with it. Here’s what Marr wrote about McDavid:

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“He’s a craftsman with the puck. His hockey sense, with his vision, his anticipation, his sense of timing and the ability to do those things at a top-end speed, you’re looking at the best skilled player in the draft.”

The word craftsman isn’t one that is used lightly. The Oilers should have a franchise player in McDavid for years to come, and he is the favorite — both in the Western Conference and league — to take home the Calder Trophy.

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