Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Wayne Gretzky: Connor McDavid Will Learn as He Goes along on Draft Day

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Wayne Gretzky: Connor McDavid Will Learn as He Goes along on Draft Day

Article excerpt

Edmonton will 'idolize' McDavid, Gretzky says

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TORONTO - Wayne Gretzky can't offer Connor McDavid much advice about how to handle the pressure of the NHL draft later this month. The Great One never went through the experience himself.

But on June 26, he'll be watching with interest from his summer home in Idaho as the Edmonton Oilers, his former team, select first overall and likely take the highly touted McDavid.

"They're going to learn a lot as they go along here because you have to experience it yourself to know exactly what it's all about," Gretzky said of the McDavid family. "The good news is he's going to a wonderful city and the people there are going to treat him with a great deal of respect.

"They're going to idolize this young man because he's that good of a hockey player."

While Gretzky has done it all in hockey, he was never drafted to a professional league.

Instead, Gretzky signed with the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association in 1978 as a free agent straight out of major junior. Gretzky was traded to Edmonton later that year and moved with the Oilers to the National Hockey League when it merged with the WHA in 1979.

"I never really thought about not getting drafted. It wasn't something that ever bothered me," Gretzky said Tuesday at the Toronto Blue Jays game, where he was attending a reception for the Joe Carter Classic celebrity golf tournament. …

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