At the age of 20, and after just two NHL seasons, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid is already being compared to Wayne Gretzky.
The Great One, who was at Windermere Tuesday for the Oil Country Championship celebrity pro-am, was glad to see McDavid locked up long-term by the Oilers.
“It shows his commitment. He wants to stay in Edmonton,” Gretzky said of McDavid’s eight-year, $100-million contract extension that will kick in for the 2018/19 season.
“He’s unreal. He’s just a wonderful young man. I told him when he signed he was worth every penny that he got.”
Gretzky can recall the days when he was a young phenom like McDavid, having won the Hart and Art Ross trophies when he was still a teenager.
While Gretzky sees more individual awards in McDavid’s future, he believes championships will ultimately define his career.
“You’re not comparable to a guy like Sidney Crosby. He has three Stanley Cups. He has a couple of Olympic golds.
“But Connor’s only 20. He’s going to get to that. Once he starts knocking those things off the chart, he’s going to go to another level.”
Also hitting the links Tuesday was Oilers goalie Cam Talbot.
While he doesn’t have much confidence in his golf game, Talbot feels great about potentially having another busy season.
“I’d be OK to do that again next year. I like playing every game. I like to be able to get into a groove. I feel more comfortable and confident when I’m there instead of taking days off. If they want me to play more, I’ll play more.”
Talbot played in 73 games in 2016/17, the most of any goalie.