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McDavid, Eichel continue to frustrate defenses

by Mike G. Morreale

Erie Otters center Connor McDavid and Boston University freshman Jack Eichel continues to prove their mettle while in the draft spotlight.


Week (2 games) Week (3 games)
1 g, 1 a, 2 pts 3 g, 6 a, 9 pts
Season stats (3 games)
Season stats (12 games)
3-3-6, plus-8 11-23-34, plus-23

McDavid, (6-foot-1, 195 pounds), who earned an A-rating on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the 2015 NHL Draft, was front and center during a regular-season engagement before 11,391 fans at First Niagara Center against the Niagara IceDogs in Buffalo, N.Y., on Oct. 22.

The left-handed shooter had a goal, four points and a plus-3 rating on the way to earning first star honors in an 8-4 victory. He would finish his week ending Oct. 25 with three goals, nine points and a plus-7 rating in three victories and extended his point-scoring streak to 12 games (11 goals, 34 points) to open the season for the Otters (11-0-1).

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, to whom McDavid is often compared, had a 10-game point streak to open his draft season with the Rimouski Oceanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2004-05. Crosby had seven goals and 27 points over that 10-game stretch; he had seven goals and 28 points in his first 12 games.

Crosby finished his final junior hockey season with 66 goals and 168 points in 62 games and was named the Canadian Hockey League player of the year before the Penguins selected him No. 1 in the 2005 NHL Draft.

"He has elite transition skills, elite vision and when he got the puck the pace quickened and the crowd was aware of who had it," NHL Central Scouting's Greg Rajanen said of McDavid. "There were a lot of 'Ooh's' after a play was made. He had one rush while shorthanded where he showed great speed, cut back and beat the defender and although he didn't finish the play, it was a special moment showcasing his ability."

Erie will play host the Plymouth Whalers on Thursday and Ottawa 67's on Saturday.

Eichel, who will give McDavid a run for his money as the top choice in the draft, is on a three-game point streak to begin his college career. In victories against Michigan State on Friday and Michigan on Saturday, the 6-2, 196-pound right-shot center produced a goal, two points, 12 shots on goal and a plus-3 rating.

Eichel, also an A-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list, has three goals and a team-leading six points, 16 shots on goal and plus-8 rating for Boston University (3-0).

The quick start marks the first time the Terriers have opened the season with three straight wins since the NCAA championship season in 2008-09. Boston University will kick off a home-and-home series with the Providence Friars at Schneider Arena on Friday, before returning to Agganis Arena in Boston on Saturday.

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