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Eichel, McDavid begin season-long battle for No. 1

by Mike G. Morreale

There's no doubt Boston University center Jack Eichel and Erie Otters center Connor McDavid will be engaged in an anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better competition all season long leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft.

Both players are considered to be top-two picks in the draft and each received an A rating on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for September.

In Erie's four straight victories to open the season, McDavid had five goals, 12 points and a plus-7 rating. He was named the first star of the game Saturday when he had two goals and four points in a 7-3 victory against the Sarnia Sting. As first star he was honored with wearing the Super Player of the Game suit.

Eichel, in his first college game, had five assists in a 12-1 exhibition victory against Canadian college St. Thomas University in Fredricton, New Brunswick. Boston University opens the regular season Oct. 10 at the University of Massachusetts.

According to reports, there was a point when St. Thomas looked to contain Eichel by putting multiple defenders on him but he still worked wonders with junior Ahti Oksanen on the top line. Oksanen, who was named the game's first star, had four goals in the game. Eichel skated with Oksansen, a native of Finland, and senior Evan Rodrigues.

In May, Boston University coach David Quinn said Eichel "might be the difference-maker in all of those one-goal games we lost last year."

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