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Bobby Orr, Don Cherry offer high praise for McDavid

by Mike G. Morreale / NHL.com

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario -- Hall of Fame defenseman Bobby Orr can understand the pressure that generational superstar Connor McDavid has been under the past three seasons.

Orr, who serves as the player agent for McDavid, the No. 1-ranked skater on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of North American prospects eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, discussed his client prior to the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at Meridian Centre on Thursday (7 p.m ET, NHLN-US, Sportsnet, TVA Sports).

While McDavid is one of 40 top prospects eligible for the 2015 draft competing in the game, it isn't surprising that he has been the center of attention here this week.

"You all can see that not only is he a wonderful player but a wonderful young man, and he's going to represent our game so well for a long, long time," Orr said. "He's one of those kids that comes along once in a while, loves the game, has a great passion for the game, and respects the game."

When asked if he thought McDavid would be able to make an immediate impact with whichever team selects him in the first round on June 26 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., Orr smiled.

"He's going to make an impact, but when it is I don't know," Orr said. "He's getting bigger and stronger and knows that in order to play in the NHL he's got to get stronger, but he'll work this summer. When you get with the big boys, you better be ready."

Orr said one thing he stresses to McDavid is to get plenty of rest.

"Our kids don't rest [enough]," Orr said. "Look at [Florida Panthers rookie defenseman] Aaron Ekblad. He hit a wall with the scheduling early in the season but he has since come around again. There's a lot of travel, so you have to make sure you're getting the rest and eating properly."

Orr also said young players always need to have a passion for the game if they are to have any measure of success.

"The important thing the kids need to understand is never to lose the love for the game; this game can't be a job," he said. "I never looked at it as a job. I loved to go to practice and loved to play.

"What Connor has gone through the last few years has been incredible, and he's remained so stable. Some kids have this pressure put on them and they lose that love and passion for the game and that's what really hurts them. I don't see that with Connor."

Don Cherry, who will oppose Orr as coach at the Top Prospects Game, knows he has his hands full creating a game plan to stop McDavid.

"We're going to have some fun and we're not going into this serious; I think the guys are tight anyhow, so there's no need to go in and start giving them the meaning of life," Cherry said. "We'll have some fun this time. I know Bobby has McDavid [on his team] but it doesn't matter. We're still going to win and we're ready."

Orr was asked if he has had an opportunity to watch Boston University center Jack Eichel, No. 2 on Central Scouting's midterm list.

"I've seen him and Jack is a good player, a skilled player," Orr said. "The second pick this year will be an easy one. I don't think it'll be a difficult pick. Jack is a skilled kid and even though he didn't have great World Junior Championship tournament [for the United States] he is a great player."

Cherry said McDavid is the obvious choice as the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft.

"Jack Eichel is a nice kid, but you [media] guys made it up as who is going to be No. 1 and I was like, 'What are these guys smoking?' because there is no comparison," Cherry said. "Eichel's a nice kid, but there's no comparison to McDavid."

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