Affirming what hockey observers had projected almost since Connor McDavid was old enough to lace up his own skates, the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau on Wednesday announced the Erie Otters center has been ranked No. 1 for the June entry draft.
McDavid, often described as a franchise player with the potential to be the best of his generation, edged out center Jack Eichel of Boston University for the top ranking. The draft will be held June 26-27 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., home of the Panthers.
The duo had been projected as 1-2 to start the season and neither slacked off, keeping their rankings intact. According to NHL.com, there was little discussion of who would be No. 1 and No. 2, leaving most of the discussion focused on who would follow. McDavid's stat sheet is spectacular.
Eichel is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top player in college hockey. Defenseman Noah Hanifin of Boston College was ranked third among North American skaters.
Central Scouting ranks more than 200 players.
The 30th-place Buffalo Sabres currently have the best odds of getting the top pick in the NHL’s draft lottery and the right to choose McDavid.