“I’m going to need some rocket ships for my skates.”
It was one of the first thoughts that sprang to mind for Oilers forward Patrick Maroon when he was paired with Oilers centre Connor McDavid during Sunday’s practice at Rexall Place.
“It’ll be fun to play with him. I’m excited,” said Maroon. “My job is to create space for him and go to the net, stay at the net, park my body in front of the net, create some cycles for him and let him do the rest.”
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound forward has already made an impact with Edmonton, recording four points (2G, 2A) in six games and adding a noticeable physical element.
Though he joined the team March 1, Maroon was already familiar with his new linemate's capabilities, having played against McDavid and the Oilers this season during his time with the Anaheim Ducks.
“[McDavid]’s a good player. Playing against him, it was certainly fun to watch what he can do at centre ice,” said Maroon.
“You don’t want him getting the puck in the neutral zone because he’s so dangerous. If he catches a defenceman flat-footed, like he did in Minnesota [to score the game-winning goal in a 2-1 Oilers victory], he’s going to score every time. Even last night he gets the puck in the neutral zone and blows by the defence. He’s just so fun to watch. He’s creative, he’s just going to be a star in this league and I’m excited to play with him."
With Maroon’s fearlessness to crash the blue paint, which has proved successful on his scoring plays, the duo will look to create new opportunities on the ice.
“[I] Just [want to] be big and strong and make sure he has some space to work with. Hopefully I can help him and we can have some chemistry right off the bat.”