If you want to talk about greatness, you might as well go to the guy called The Great One.
“He brings you out of your seat each and every game,” Wayne Gretzky said on Tuesday’s episode of Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer on 630 CHED.
Gretzky was, of course, talking about Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, who wowed the hockey world again Monday night with a hat trick in a 6-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
“It really is a privilege to be around him every day,” said Oilers winger Alex Chiasson. “He’s our captain. He does a lot more in the locker-room. His work ethic is through the roof. He leads us.
“He’s always the first guy in the gym getting his work done. He leads by example. I think a lot of people forget that about him.”
“I don’t really know how he does it, to be honest, the way he’s able to push the puck ahead into positions and give himself a step and some extra time,” said Oilers defenceman Tyson Barrie. “It’s pretty special to watch.
“Every night he’s doing something that seems pretty crazy. The thing about him is he can beat you wide. He can stickhandle through you. He has a good shot, and he’s always looking to pass, too.”
McDavid has three hat tricks this season and has racked up 81 points in 46 games. Gaudy numbers, but who knows what his ceiling is? McDavid is only 24 years old and driven to get better every season.
“I think his whole game, he continues to find ways to improve. That’s the sign of a great player,” said Oilers head coach Dave Tippett. “It’s incredible the way he sees things on the ice.”
“I think this year he’s been shooting the puck a lot more,” added Chiasson. “That’s given him more opportunities offensively.”
With 10 games left in the regular season, McDavid is virtually guaranteed to win his second Hart Trophy as NHL MVP. But Gretzky knows that’s not the trophy McDavid and his teammates are really chasing.
“You can see the desperation in the players today compared to two years ago,” Gretzky explained. “As much as the individual accolades have been fun, they want to win a championship.
“That’s the thing I’ve noticed most about Connor and Leon (Draisaitl). As good as they’ve been individually, you can tell… in their faces that they want to be successful as a team.”
“He wants to be the best. He wants our team to be the best,” said Barrie.
The Oilers play in Winnipeg again on Wednesday. Catch the game on 630 CHED with the Faceoff Show at 5:30 p.m. The game will start at 7 p.m.
Watch below: Some Global News videos about Connor McDavid.