Connor McDavid lost more than a teammate when the Edmonton Oilers traded Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday. He lost a roommate too.
"It's definitely a shock," McDavid told the Edmonton Sun. "… Change is exciting, but at the same time it's upsetting to see a teammate, a dear friend and my roommate go. It's a little bit of a different feeling right now."
According to the Sun, McDavid lived in Hall's house last season, McDavid's first in the NHL. Their other roommate, forward Luke Gazdic, was not given a qualifying offer Monday and will become an unrestricted free agent Friday.
McDavid and Hall each was the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft (McDavid in 2015, Hall in 2010). Each forward also has dealt with a long-term injury (McDavid to his collarbone last season, Hall to his shoulder in 2012).
"I want to express thanks for all that he's done for me because he's done so much," McDavid, 19, said of 24-year-old Hall. "I'll never really know how I can repay him, or if I'll ever be able to, for what he's done for me this year.
"He's a guy who took me under his wing right away. It's hard to explain how much that means to me."
Edmonton acquired 23-year-old defenseman Adam Larsson in the trade.
"For sure we will have a different dynamic," McDavid said. "Whenever you trade away a key piece of your organization, somebody who's been there for a long time, it has to change everything. … We'll definitely be a little bit different, but everything is definitely pointed in the right direction. We added a defenseman, which we definitely needed, and we'll see what happens in free agency.
"It's exciting, but like I keep saying, it's upsetting to see Taylor go."