Connor McDavid, 17-year-old center for the Erie Otters, embarrassed a Plymouth Whalers defenseman en route to this tremendous goal last night. And while amazing, the Lemiuxesque drive was hardly eye-opening -- McDavid has been the consensus top pick in a very deep 2015 draft for most of his teens.
SI's Brian Cazeneuve profiled McDavid last May, revealing him to be player with the skill to hit individual letters on sideboard advertisements, in sequence, on his backhand:
McDavid's devotion to practice paid off. Orr noticed the boy's hands during a camp sponsored by his agency, The Orr Hockey Group, in Aurora, Ont., three years ago. McDavid was the youngest of 35 invitees, and Orr quickly zeroed in on the boy who was flipping pucks over sticks, making them land flat so he could recover them, then pivoting and repeating the drill in the other direction. "I couldn't believe those hand drills" Orr recalls. "I couldn't have done them. Really little guy, but pop-pop-pop, he just had a feel for it." When McDavid spotted a sign on the sideboards, he wristed pucks at the letters, one-by-one, then did the same with his backhand.
I don't know if McDavid will be hockey's next great scoring center, but currently there's only one player who can shoot consistently and accurately from his backhand: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9kLJqp12Sc]