Day-two of the NHLPA Rookie Showcase kicked-off in Toronto, Tuesday.
The showcase featured 39 prospects and rookies from 26 of the NHL’s 30 teams, including Edmonton Oilers 2015 NHL Draft number one pick Connor McDavid.
With the season within reach, this year’s batch of prospects and rookies are eager to get moving, especially McDavid.
“I’m anxious to get [to Edmonton] and get everything going,” he said.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time now, I’ve been preparing for it even longer, so I’m just looking forward to getting down there and getting started.”
Having signed hundreds of memorabilia items, — helmets, sticks and jerseys — McDavid held up a trading card with a familiar face staring back at him.
“Obviously as a kid you collect hockey cards,” said McDavid. “To be on Upper Deck’s Rookie Card this week, it’s very special.”
The Rookie Showcase, now in its seventh year, is one more stop before training camp is underway, and though the six-foot-one centre can’t wait to hit the ice with his teammates, he also isn’t naïve to the differences the professional league will hold both on and off the ice.
“Just the size and the speed of the game,” he said. “The offence…just how to handle yourself and how to be a true professional I think. It’s all an adjustment for sure but on ice I would say just the size and the speed.”
With so much fan excitement already surrounding the 18-year-old, McDavid says his goal and focus for training is to not disappoint.
“Just make an impression on the staff — the coaching staff, the management team and hopefully my future teammates — just the kind of person I am, the kind of player I am, that I’m willing to compete and work hard.”