Connor McDavid is a Canadian ice hockey centre who plays for the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League (NHL) and also serves as the captain of the team. He is considered one of the best players of his generation and is often compared to Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby, being dubbed 'The Next One'. Thanks to the constant support of his parents, he has been playing the game since he was a child, often playing with children much older than him, and became the third player after John Tavares and Aaron Ekblad to be allowed to in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) one year earlier than the permissible limit. He won numerous awards and achievements for his team, the Erie Otters, and later became the first overall selection by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Despite repeated injuries that kept him away from the game during most of his early professional career, he continued to perform consistently and took his team to the playoffs in the last season. He also won three gold medals for his national team, Canada.
Childhood & Early Life
Connor McDavid was born on January 13, 1997 in Richmond Hill, Ontario to Brian and Kelly McDavid. His father was a youth hockey coach and he has an older brother named Cameron who is an Ivey Business School graduate.
He started skating when he was three and at four, began playing hockey with children older than him. After the hockey association in his hometown Newmarket barred him from playing with older children when he was six, his parents enrolled him into a team in nearby Aurora, allowing him to play with 9-year-olds.
He was later coached by his father at York-Simcoe Express, a team in Aurora, Ontario, which went on to win four Ontario Minor Hockey Association championships. He briefly considered playing for the Terriers while attending Boston University, but decided to play in OHL to develop his skills fully.
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Connor McDavid began playing minor hockey with the York-Simcoe Express of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) and later played bantam and minor midget hockey at Toronto Marlboros of the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL). At minor midget level, he scored 209 points in 88 games with 79 goals and 130 assists during the 2011-12 season and was named the GTHL ‘Player of the Year’.
Thanks to his performance, he was granted ‘Exceptional Player’ status by Hockey Canada, the governing body for amateur hockey in Canada. This allowed him to play in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) despite being one year junior, making him the third player to achieve that status after John Tavares and Aaron Ekblad.
Entering the 2012 OHL Priority Selection at age 15, he was selected first overall by the Erie Otters and was honored with the 'Jack Ferguson Award'. During his inaugural season, he scored points in 15 consecutive games except his debut match, which helped him earn the 'OHL Rookie of the Month' honor twice.
Throughout his first season, he recorded 41 assists, the most by an OHL rookie, for which he received the 'Emms Family Award', and finished as the second top scorer among first-year players, with 66 points. Moreover, his exceptional performance secured him a spot on the 'OHL First All-Rookie Team' and made him a finalist for 'CHL Rookie of the Year'.
The 2013-14 season was no less exciting for him as he won the 'William Hanley Trophy' for being OHL's most sportsmanlike player and the 'Bobby Smith Trophy' for being 'OHL Scholastic Player of the Year'. He was also named to the 'OHL Second All Star Team' that year.
He was named the captain of the Erie Otters in the next season and led the points table with strong performances till he succumbed to an injury that forced him out for six weeks. He finished the season as the third-highest scorer with 44 goals and 76 assists, and received the 'Red Tilson Trophy' for the 'OHL Player of the Year' and was named 'CHL Player of the Year'.
Connor McDavid was drafted first overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers, following which he signed a three-year entry-level contract with the team on July 3rd. His professional career had a rough start as his first two matches against St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars ended in losses, and he subsequently broke his clavicle which kept him out of 37 games.
He made his return to the ice memorable with a goal and two assists against Columbus Blue Jackets on February 2, 2016 and recorded his first five-point night against Toronto Maple Leafs, his boyhood team. Despite playing only 45 games that season, he was voted third for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's 'Rookie of the Year'.
At 19 years and 266 days, he became the youngest captain in NHL history after being named captain of the Oilers on October 5, 2016. During the end of the year, after 10 goal-less games, he scored his first hat-trick in a 5-2 win against the Dallas Stars on November 19, 2016.
In 2016-17, he helped his team to the playoffs and became the fourth fastest active player to reach 100 points after scoring one on his 92nd game, and finished the season as the top scorer. He signed an 8-year extension with the Edmonton Oilers on July 5, 2017 for $100 million, which made him the highest paid player in NHL history.
Connor McDavid was the youngest player on the Canadian under-18 team at the 2013 IIHF World U18 Championships in Sochi, Russia, and made his international debut against Slovakia on April 18. He scored a hat-trick against Sweden and led his team to a gold medal win, defeating four-time defending champion United States in the final.
While Canada finished fourth at the 2014 World Junior Championship, he led his team to win the gold medal at the 2015 World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal as an alternate captain. He again won gold for Canada at the 2016 World Hockey Championship and was selected the captain of Team North America, representing Canada and the United States, at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Awards & Achievements
Connor McDavid has helped the Canadian team win three gold medals at the 2013 IIHF World U18 Championship, the 2015 World U20 Championship and the 2016 World Hockey Championship. He also helped his club team Edmonton Oilers reach the playoffs and finish second during the 2016-17 season.
He was the top scorer during the 2013-17 season and was named the 'Most Valuable Player', earning the 'Hart Memorial Trophy'. At 92 games, he became the fourth fastest active player to reach 100 points.
Personal Life & Legacy
Connor McDavid is in a relationship with a Canadian girl named Lauren Kyle who is currently studying business. They reportedly met by chance after arriving at the wrong birthday party.
During his early years, when Connor McDavid decided to leave the York Simcoe Express in 2011 to join the Toronto Marlboros, it affected him on a personal level. Both he and his parents lost friends due to that decision.