Ken Hitchcock was impressed by his first look at Connor McDavid.
Jasen Vinlove/Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
With less than a month of NHL action under his belt, Edmonton Oilers rookie Connor McDavid has already earned a reputation as a generational talent similar to a Wayne Gretzky or Sidney Crosby. St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock has a different player to compare McDavid to, however.
“I’d say Mike Modano would be a really good comparison for Connor,” Hitchcock told the Edmonton Journal recently. “He knew that if the opposition was standing on the point and shooting the puck, he knew where it was going to get blocked and where it was going to go. Both Mike and [Joe, fellow hall-of-famer] Nieuwendyk … that was their strength, their anticipation.
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“That’s the same with Connor. You think you are going to score, and next thing is you’re looking at a 2-on-1 or a breakaway against.”
Modano played in the NHL for 21 years and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014. He is the all-time leading scorer for American-born players with 561 goals and 1374 points in 1499 games. He is credited with helping establish a base for hockey in Texas, as he ignited passions in the area both by lighting up the scoreboard and helping the Stars to a Stanley Cup championship in 1999.
McDavid was born in 1997 and was just two years old when Modano won the Cup. The 18-year-old has five points (three goals, two assists) through his first six NHL games.