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Connor McDavid plays 100th NHL game for Oilers

20-year-old captain reaches plateau in win against Canadiens on Sunday

by Arpon Basu @ArponBasu / Senior Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid's 100th NHL game probably won't go down as one of his most memorable, but it still served to show what has made him such an impactful player so early in his career.

The Oilers defeated the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 in a shootout at Bell Centre on Sunday, so McDavid was obviously held off the scoresheet.

But he still had a game-high six shots on goal and drew three penalties by doing what has made him so successful so fast, using his blazing speed to force opponents into making mistakes.

"Obviously he's fast, but there's a lot of guys that are fast, but his hands are as good as his speed, but he's agile and shifty as well," said Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber, who was matched against McDavid all game and was called for the first of the three penalties he drew. "Not only that, he's got the mind for it. A lot [of] guys have maybe one or two things, or a thing here or there, but he's definitely as close as it gets to having it all."

McDavid said he didn't even know he was playing his 100th game until he was asked about it, and that it doesn't feel like he has been in the NHL that long at all.

"It goes by so fast," he said. "Honestly, it feels like I was just being drafted a day ago."

McDavid was the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and leads the NHL with 60 points in 55 games. He has 108 points in 100 games, which puts him behind Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (132), Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (128) and Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (114) for the most points after 100 games among active NHL players.

Video: EDM@CAR: McDavid roofs incredible backhand shot

He's done it with blazing speed, whether it's his feet or his hands or his brain. Oilers forward Milan Lucic looked to the world of soccer to find a comparison for McDavid's unique combination of those skills.

"He's electrifying, and for a lot of reasons," Lucic said. "His speed, his skill, his ability to finish, his ability to pass. I kind of compare him to the Cristiano Ronaldo of hockey. That's my comparison that I use. It's been fun to play with so far for [55] games."

Oilers coach Todd McLellan knows everything that goes into what McDavid shows us when he takes the ice for a game and says that to him, that's what sets him apart and gets him into a special category of player.

"All those moments that the fans get to see on TV and during the games, well we also get to see him in practice," McLellan said. "We get to see him prepare, we get to see him train and there's a lot of what he does that goes missing from the everyday fan. So we're lucky enough as a staff and teammates to see that. I think the special players do that in a real good way. I've watched Crosby and those type of players approach the game day in and day out to be prepared. Connor does that. He's unique."

If there is one way for hockey fans in Montreal to show how much respect McDavid has earned so early in his career, they showed it in the first period Sunday. The Bell Centre crowd started booing him when he touched the puck after the Weber penalty was called.

Not many players elevate to the rank where that is done to them in Montreal.

"I don't mind it," McDavid said with a smile. "If it's a compliment, I'll take it."

It most certainly is a compliment, and through 100 NHL games, it is well deserved.

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