TORONTO – Connor McDavid has been the talk of Canada's junior national team this week.
How much have people been talking about the precocious 16-year-old who is trying to bull his way onto a team, and into a tournament, traditionally dominated by 19-year-olds? On Friday, a reporter prefaced a question about McDavid to teammate Kerby Rychel by apologizing for asking the question.
"It's OK, he deserves it," Rychel said of the attention coming McDavid's way. "He's an exceptional hockey player. He deserves to be here. He's got tremendous skill. His speed is going to be a big factor on the big ice like this. He's a phenomenal hockey player and we are lucky to have him here now."
It appears McDavid will stay with Canada too, despite initial thoughts that his youth might hold him back. He is going to Europe when the national team departs Sunday for the World Junior Championship, but Canada still needs to cut two forwards and a defenseman. It does not appear that McDavid will be among those hearing bad news from coach Brent Sutter between now and Dec. 26, which is the date of Canada's opening game.