McCarthy Gretzky split

J.J. McCarthy found his match in the “State of Hockey.”

The Minnesota Vikings draft pick received a phone call from Wayne Gretzky during a virtual press conference after being drafted 10th overall by the team on Thursday.

McCarthy apologized to reporters as he declined “The Great One’s” call.

“Oh wow, that’s Wayne Gretzky,” McCarthy said in a video posted by the Vikings. “I'm sorry about that...Hockey guy 101 and I’m going to the hockey state.”

The former Michigan quarterback explained that the Hockey Hall of Famer is great friends with his off the field marketing agent. Gretzky FaceTimed McCarthy after Michigan’s National Championship win in January.

“Just being able to sit there and to be witness to the greatness that is spreading his appreciation to what I was able to do and what I was able to represent meant so much,” McCarthy told reporters.

“Growing up, he was one of my G.O.A.T.S. and on my Mount Rushmore. I give so much credit to him because he inspired me so much.”

On Friday, Gretzky congratulated McCarthy and called him a "wonderful young man" during the NHL on TNT's pregame show.

McCarthy grew up playing hockey in Illinois and called the sport his first love. He gave up hockey in his freshman year of high school to pursue football.

“To go to a state that lives, breathes and eats hockey and football, it’s just a perfect fit,” McCarthy said.