Newspaper article The Canadian Press

McDavid's Whirlwind Pre-Draft Tour Takes Him to Stanley Cup Final

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

McDavid's Whirlwind Pre-Draft Tour Takes Him to Stanley Cup Final

Article excerpt

McDavid's tour takes him to Cup final

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CHICAGO - Connor McDavid stood in the crowded Chicago Blackhawks locker-room and chatted with Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning down the hall.

An appearance at the Stanley Cup final with other top prospects was just the latest stop on McDavid's rock-star tour before the Edmonton Oilers, as expected, draft him first overall later this month. Along the way, McDavid has been to the Memorial Cup and the scouting combine and gotten to know fellow top prospect Jack Eichel.

"It's been a whirlwind and it's been a dream come true," McDavid said Monday morning at United Center. "It's been crazy. It's been a very busy couple of weeks. But it's exciting. It's where you want to be."

McDavid would have rather been on the ice at the Memorial Cup but was instead in Quebec City for the CHL awards. At the combine he got to meet with Oilers brass and finally get acquainted with Eichel.

They had met on the ice at two world junior championships but never as regular, teenage kids. That happened in Buffalo outside the Sabres' HarborCenter facilities.

"The two of us were just walking down the street, just bumped into each other shook hands and that was it," Eichel said. "I don't think we wanted to make a big deal of it as everyone else did."

McDavid and Eichel have been linked for more than a year already as the prospective top two picks. Even though they'll likely be far away from each other playing for Edmonton and Buffalo, going 1-2 in the draft will make the subject of comparisons for potentially the next two decades.

They had dinner with fellow prospects Noah Hanifin, Dylan Strome, Mitchell Marner and Lawson Crouse on Sunday night in Chicago and rode the bus together from downtown out to United Center.

"It's nice to get to know all of them," Eichel said. "It's nice for us to spend time together, see the game, do all this. …

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