When Connor McDavid first emerged in the National Hockey League as an Edmonton Oiler last season, he was stepping into uncharted territory.
Thankfully, former Oiler and League veteran Taylor Hall was there to help guide McDavid through the motions of playing and living in a very involved hockey hotbed such as Edmonton.
The 19-year-old Oilers captain spoke about the affect Hall had on him as a rookie.
"He was huge," said McDavid. "He opened up his home to me and we lived there and we had such a good time last year, the three of us with Gaz (Gazdic) included. Definitely a huge influence, especially when I was hurt."
McDavid missed 37 games last season due to a broken clavicle but his inclusion with the team off the ice made him feel like he hadn't missed a beat. A large part of that was due to the former Oiler and now New Jersey Devil.
"Those guys did a real good job of trying to include me in things," McDavid said. "When you're hurt it's tough to feel a part of the guys, you're not on the same schedule and that type of thing and they definitely did a good job there."
The two former teammates became good friends, and although they have hectic schedules, still try to keep in contact whenever possible.
"It's tough, we're always so busy," McDavid said. "We talk here and there, Snapchat and that kind of thing. We try and keep in touch."
McDavid believes Hall will feel mixed emotions returning to Edmonton with his new squad.
"It'll be different for him, for sure," he said. "I'm sure he's excited about it. I'm sure the fans will be happy to see him again."