Yesterday Connor McDavid spoke to NHL.com about his summer, his expectations for his rookie season, and even what he thought about the Oilers before those fateful numbers were drawn on April 18th. You should read the whole thing because it's September 2 and what else are you going to do, but before you do there were a couple of things that caught my eye.
NHL.com: What would you need to accomplish this season for you to personally consider it a success?
McDavid: I get that question a lot and it's something I don't really know how to answer. I just have to do the best that I can do. There are no real numbers that I have in my mind. I just want to have as good a year as possible.
NHL.com: Is it more about making the biggest impact possible as opposed to saying, "I'm going to score 50 goals or get 100 points?"
McDavid: Sure, I think that's a good way to describe it. Numbers are one thing, but some of the best games I have ever played have been games in which I didn't get a point or maybe had one point. You don't necessarily have to put up a lot of points to be impactful. There are lots of ways you can impact a game, and that is something I take a lot of pride in, trying to impact the game in any way possible.
NHL.com: How confident are you in your ability to compete in the League right now?
McDavid: I'm as confident as I can be having never played a game in the NHL. I don't really know what it's like. I am confident in my ability and at the same time you don't know what you don't know. I have never played in an NHL game even though I have a fair bit of experience playing against guys of that caliber. You have at least the smallest idea of what it will be like.
Every time I hear his answer a question I get the impression that he's answered that same question 100 times before, probably because he has. If you didn't know that he was 18 years old you'd never guess it by the way that he answers questions. He seems almost robotic in hos answers, probably because he's answered the question 100 times before, and I doubt that he'll ever be a great quote for the local scribes, but he should be more than able to make up for that on the ice.
NHL.com: What did your summer consist of on the hockey side?
McDavid: I trained with (retired NHL player) Gary Roberts. I was with him every morning and skated with him a bunch. He has a very good group of guys and it's a very good program.
NHL.com: Was there a highlight?
McDavid: Hmmm, I don't really think so. The summer, for hockey, is more about the off-ice side of it. I had a good summer in terms of getting stronger. I feel as good as ever.
Umm.... no highlight? Not getting drafted first overall? Maybe he doesn't consider it summer until July. If that's the case he should fit in nicely in Edmonton.
NHL.com: Before knowing you were going to the Oilers, how did you view their development and talent?
McDavid: The first thing you think about when you hear about the Oilers is they are young and skilled. I think that is a fair assessment. They have a lot of very good players. They also have a lot of veterans who have played in the League for many years. They have all the right pieces, and having made some changes in the summer, I think they have a great team.
There's that 12-year veteran answer again. He's maybe a little more generous that I would have been in my assessment of the Oilers pre-lottery. And a great team? Yeah, I'm not so sure. But for the first time in a long time it at least seems possible. What a difference four little balls can make.