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Connor McDavid lighting it up as a 15-year-old rookie

by Mike G. Morreale

Erie Otters forward Connor McDavid is not eligible for the NHL Draft until 2015, but he has certainly grabbed the attention of those scouts in attendance as a 15-year-old rookie in the Ontario Hockey League this season.

McDavid, as you may know, was granted exceptional player status on March 21, 2012, by Hockey Canada to be eligible for the 2012 OHL Priority Selection. He joined John Tavares and Aaron Ekblad as the only players to be awarded that honor and was promptly drafted first overall by the Otters.

Erie is certainly reaping the benefits.

McDavid currently leads all rookies in scoring with 21 points in 18 games and was recently added to the Team OHL roster for the 2012 Subway Super Series. He'll become the youngest player to compete in the 10-year history of the event when he suits up against Russia Nov. 8 in Guelph, Ont.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound center was named the OHL Rookie of the Month for October, producing 12 points in 10 contests for Erie (six goals, six assists). He recorded a point in all 10 games, including a home-opening two-goal performance in a 5-1 victory over the Brampton Battalion on Oct. 5.

The native of Newmarket, Ont., is projected by many to go first overall at the 2015 NHL Draft. He erupted for 209 points in 88 games for the Toronto Marlboros of the Greater Toronto Hockey League, including 33 goals and 72 points in 33 games in 2011-12.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has already labeled McDavid as a future standout.

Otters general manager Sherry Bassin has even mentioned McDavid with the likes of Mario Lemieux, Mats Sundin, Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman.

"I've been around [Joe] Sakic, [Mats] Sundin, [Steve] Yzerman, national programs … he's a special, special player," Bassin told Mark Spector of "This is once in a lifetime for a franchise. Maybe once in a decade for a league."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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