The Art Ross Trophy winner for the 2016-17 NHL hockey season is Connor McDavid. The sophomore phenom is now in his second NHL season and he's taking the league and professional hockey by storm. A generational talent, some are calling him the best player to join the NHL since Wayne Gretzky. That's a high measuring stick and perhaps an argument for another time; but clearly, McDavid is no slouch when it comes to producing at the NHL level.
Coming off his 100-point season and now in the NHL playoffs with the Edmonton Oilers, McDavid is also a hot topic of conversation for hockey fans in general. Whether it be marveling in his speed and skill or picking apart his game — as fans tend to do to the world's greatest athletes — there is no shortage of topics to discuss when it comes to the Richmond Hill, Ontario native.
For those that want to know everything there is to know about McDavid, the internet is chalked full of statistics and history making moments. One Google search with his name will produce nearly half-a-million results. So if it's that easy to find information on one of the best players on the planet, what can we possibly tell you that you may not already know?
If you can't get enough McDavid, this post is for you. You'll learn some of the most intimate details about the player that everyone is watching. Some of these secrets may change how you view the superstar. Others may make you appreciate his talent level even more.
15 His Agent is Bobby Orr
This information isn't exactly news, but how this came about might be. Connor McDavid was still a youngster when he first met Bobby Orr at the hockey legend's summer camp. In awe of the former star defenseman, McDavid developed a friendship that led to Orr becoming his agent. Both McDavid and his family knew it was meant to be right away.
Orr recalls seeing McDavid on the ice for the first time and asking "What is that?" Orr watched his hands, the way he skated, the way he could flip and handle the puck and how incredible it was. The former NHL great was shocked to learn McDavid was only 13-years-old.
McDavid and the Orr Hockey Group are a perfect fit as few people can understand the pressures being "the Next One" can put on a player. Orr understands the celebrity status and the PR responsibility that comes with being so good. Strangely enough, McDavid never considered another option. He and his family didn't interview or seek out other potential agents. It was always Bobby Orr.
14 McDavid Grew Up a Leafs Fan
Connor McDavid now plays for the Oilers and has publicly stated he intends to play in Edmonton for the rest of his career, but the Oilers are not the team he grew up cheering for. Being from Ontario, McDavid was a Toronto Maple Leaf's fan and noted that being drafted by the Leafs would have been a dream come true. His room was a shrine to that team.
Torontonians have not forgotten that fact and many Maple Leafs fans tried to make it dramatic when the Oilers won the NHL Draft Lottery and the right to select McDavid first overall. Leafs fans were up in arms citing the fact that McDavid wanted to come to Toronto and that they got shafted because he couldn't.
Both the Maple Leafs and the Oilers are young and up-and-coming teams, so both will be just fine, but for a while, the two teams didn't like each other and it was all because McDavid went one way and Leafs fans thought he should go another.
13 Gary Roberts Is His Fitness Trainer
Transforming one of the best young hockey talents into a man that can stand the rigors of the NHL takes work. Connor McDavid relies on former NHL'er Gary Roberts to help him get there.
Roberts has been key in the success of many young superstars. Steven Stamkos used him to bulk up and get past a questionable rookie season. Today, Stamkos is one of the NHL's most feared offensive snipers. McDavid was in grade 10 when he met Roberts for the first time and while McDavid was nervous to meet the larger-than-life NHL trainer, he was signing up for Roberts to help him get to the next level. McDavid was ready to tackle whatever was asked of him. He still trains with Roberts in the offseason. Those summers can include a workout week of five days and 90-minute on ice sessions every other day. The diet is extreme and a lot for a young kid to stick to.
12 He's Losing the Insider's Debate to Sidney Crosby
When you think about the best two prospects to come into the NHL in the last decade, you have to narrow it down to Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid. As good as McDavid is, to many, he's still not surpassed the level of talent that Crosby brings — that is at least if you ask players within the NHL.
There are many that think one day McDavid will be as good if not better, but that time isn't yet. Crosby has established himself as the true face of the NHL over the last 10 years and players inside NHL locker rooms believe McDavid has a way to go before he can knock Crosby off that mantle. The only players who might disagree are McDavid's teammates on the Oilers who see him day in and day out. For McDavid fans, it's best not to be offended. This gives Connor a goal to strive for and when Connor has a goal in mind, he's hard to stop.
11 He Never Wanted To Play With Crosby
It's interesting that McDavid is losing to Sidney Crosby when it comes to the internal debate in the NHL over who is better. The two have been compared for other reasons. Most people would want to play with the best players in the league if given an opportunity. Not Connor McDavid.
When asked, McDavid included Crosby as a player he'd in fact rather not play with because their playing styles were similar to the point that they'd clash and interfere more than they'd potentially help each other. This isn't actually that odd a thought because Crosby is widely known as one of the best, but also one of the harder players to play with. You have to understand where he's going and what's he's going to do and that takes a certain level of understanding. Not all players have that. McDavid is a similar style player. They're playing together, if they ever do, will have to be left to All-Star games or the Olympics.
10 McDavid Always Wanted To Play With Milan Lucic
Some might call it "The Secret" or the Law of Attraction. Others may just call it the power of positive thinking or dumb luck, but when asked as a kid who Connor McDavid would likely want to play with most in the NHL, his answer was Milan Lucic. Fast forward a few years and that's exactly what has happened.
The pieces all fell into place as Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli came over from the Boston Bruins where Lucic played for many years. One of Chiarelli's first acts as GM was drafting McDavid. Once Lucic became a free agent, it didn't take much work for Chiarelli to convince his former player to come play with arguably the best prospect in a decade. It seems to have been a good fit for both players.
9 McDavid Is Viewed As A Player Who Doesn't Shoot Enough
When you have a player the caliber of Connor McDavid, you will get one of two schools of thought from the people who watch him. First, is that you can't really critique someone so good. Second, is that people will try only to find faults in a player because he is so good. If there is one fault or critique to lay upon McDavid's shoulders is that's he doesn't shoot enough. Even Wayne Gretzky has commented on it.
McDavid had 30 goals in 2016-17, but he could have easily had 40. Perhaps more if only he shot the puck at most of his presented opportunities to do so. Instead, he chose to pass the puck to teammates who didn't finish. To give you an idea, in the first seven games of the Oilers season, McDavid was on the power play for over 21 total minutes. In that time, he had no shots on net. Not one. When Gretzky was asked about it he commented that eventually McDavid will get bored with just getting assists and he'll decide he likes scoring more. When he does he'll be hard to stop.
8 McDavid Has A Serious Girlfriend
Connor McDavid’s girlfriend Lauren Kyle is a young and lovely Toronto native. She possesses fantastic good looks and from what we can find, their first public appearance together came on Lauren's social media feed in June of 2016. Connor later showed a picture of her on his feed in January of 2017. Since then, she's been spotted at a game or two of the Oilers in both the regular season and the playoffs. In at least one case, she was sitting with McDavid's parents.
That McDavid is so young and talented and about to be a gazillionaire shows either one of two things. He can have any woman he wants and this is just a "for now" thing. Or, he's more settled in as a down to earth player than people realize and has found someone that he can introduce to the parents. Either way she seems happy.
7 McDavid's Brother Isn't That Great A Hockey Player
To be fair, to say Cameron McDavid wasn't a great hockey player isn't completely fair. He did advance as far the CCHL and OJHL with the Newmarket Hurricanes. That said, when you're comparing him to his brother Connor, it's not even close.
Cameron's highest scoring minor league season was nine points. McDavid's was 209 points. Typically, you see a lot of brothers make it to the NHL. The Staal's, Subban's and others are out there. The McDavid's will not be joining that lineage. It's hard to say if Cameron feels any resentment towards Connor for his success, but Cameron would probably be the first to admit, if he'd wanted to make it as far as Connor did, Cameron would have had to have been as driven and it's difficult to find anyone as driven as Connor McDavid.
6 McDavid's Mom Wanted Him To Be A Skier
Connor McDavid's dad was always the hockey guy. From an extremely young age, he helped coach and mentor his son along Connor's path until he reached an age where it was best someone better equipped take over. Even still, Connor's dad has been heavily involved in his son's career. Connor's mom, on the other hand, didn't really believe until well into Connor's hockey career that he would become as good as he is. Instead, she wanted him to become a skier.
Fortunately for everyone, McDavid didn't stick to skiing like he did hockey. Once his mom Kelly realized she was fighting a losing battle, she became extremely supportive of his hockey aspirations and has to be considered one of the reasons McDavid is so good and so driven.
5 Connor Is Extremely Superstitious
Most athletes have superstitions. One of Connor's teammates Leon Draisaitl likes to stay on the ice last in warmups and shoot a puck down from his own zone into the opposition's net. It's just a thing he's always done. But, when it comes to McDavid, the level to which he's superstitious is quite out of this world.
He's been noted to have lucky underwear, listen to the same songs on the way to the rink, take the exact same amount of shots per day at a minimum, park in the same spot at games and practices, pack his bag the same way, dresses the same way and in one case asked him mom to sit in the back seat of the car because they'd won their last game with him in the front seat and he didn't want to veer from what worked. Perhaps as he's aged, the superstitious tendencies have declined, but that sort of thing never truly leaves you as an athlete.
4 Connor's Neighbours Thought His Mom And Dad Were Bad Parents
Connor McDavid was so driven to be a hockey superstar that he would go out in the driveway and practice for hours on end taking a certain amount of shots and getting things just right to the point he was proud of himself. Meanwhile, his neighbors thought he was being forced to do it by his dad Brian.
Brian admits to telling Connor that if you want to be the best at anything, it takes hard work and practice and that few things come naturally. Other than that, McDavid took that advice to heart and his time spent honing his craft was all Connor. In fact, Connor was quite upset when he learned that the neighbors thought his parents were forcing him into it. To Connor, it’s not like he went out there and was putting in time like you have to punch a clock. He was having fun.
3 Connor Is Not Good At Other Sports
Connor McDavid is the first to admit that hockey is his calling. Outside of hockey, he's not terribly good at other sports. Most athletes play other activities year round. Baseball, golf, football or other sports give them a better sense of becoming an overall athlete but also a feeling that they're not overdoing it on any one sport. This is actually recommended by most experts as you raise your kids. Give them a break from something and let them come back to it.
McDavid never had that problem. He fully admits that no matter how much he plays hockey, he never tires of it. He'd prefer it to anything else and never found a passion for other sports the way he did hockey. There is one exception which you'll see next. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with practicing.
2 McDavid Beat a World Champion Tennis Player
Making an appearance at the Association of Tennis Professionals' Rogers Cup in Toronto Connor McDavid defeated Denis Shapovalov, a Canadian tennis player who won the Wimbledon junior singles championship in table tennis.
Perhaps table tennis is one of those games you just pick up as a hockey player because it seems to be a past-time in every NHL locker room around the league. Players find it a good way to work on their hand-eye skills while having a little healthy competition. Clearly McDavid found it something he could do. Of the two sports he's good at, McDavid likely made the right choice as hockey seems to have the higher ceiling. No offense to table tennis players around the world, but I don't see a ton of sponsors lining up in the future for McDavid and his table tennis career.
1 McDavid Is Not the NHL Fastest Skater
McDavid is known for his all-world skill and he's definitely known as being the unanimous fastest skater in the NHL, but technically, he's not the fastest on paper. At the most recent NHL All-Star game, McDavid won the fastest skater competition. At the competition, they gave him an opportunity to break the fastest skater ever mark set by Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings the previous year.
Two things didn't help McDavid. First, he had to attempt the record on less than two minutes break time between winning that year's competition and trying to set a new all-time record. He was clearly tired. Second, Larkin was given a head start, meaning he got a few strides until he hit the starting blue line where the clock started. McDavid wasn't afforded the head start and had to begin from a standstill. Larkin saw the controversy and offered to go one-on-one with McDavid one day just to see who in fact was the fastest.
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