You try to tell people to be patient with Connor McDavid, remind them he will not even reach driving age for another month.
But stuff keeps happening. Like being called another Crosby by the current Sidney Crosby. Or be selected for the Subway Super Series at age 15. Or having someone bid $1,625 US for his game-worn Erie Otters jersey. Then there the fact Reebok is apparently committing to an endorsement deal with him three years before he enters the NHL draft. It's enough to make one's head spin, although this is just business. McDavid would be the youngest hockey player Reebok has ever signed.
From Liz Mullen:
If the deal is completed, as expected, it would be the most significant deal Reebok has signed with a young hockey player since 2005, when it signed Sidney Crosby, 17 years old at the time and now an NHL star, to a five-year deal. McDavid would be the youngest hockey player to endorse Reebok.Glen Thornborough, Reebok CCM vice president of global marketing, confirmed that he was in discussions with McDavid, his family and Bobby Orr, the NHL hall of famer and founder of the Orr Hockey Group, which represents McDavid.
"We want to align with the best in the world, and we believe Connor McDavid is in that class," Thornborough said.
... "It is not an everyday occurrence in the industry that a player like Connor comes along," Thornborough said. "We are not in the habit of signing kids that age, but there are special occurrences and this is one." (SportsBusiness Journal)
Wild. This isn't the same as whhen golfer Michelle Wie was doing commercials. Professional golf and tennis have no reason for being outside of getting people to buy gear and sportswear. Hockey still seems like a real sport, sometimes.
McDavid, with 17 goals and 37 points in 32 games, is among the OHL's top 20 scorers despite his youth. The London Knights' Max Domi, at 17, is the only higher-scoring forward who's even within two years of McDavid of age. The Otters star also has a 10-point lead in the rookie scoring race over players who are a year or two older. It might not seem like he's setting the world on fire with the Otters, but he's ahead of the pack. Throw in his name recognition in Southern Ontario as a Toronto kid and the Bobby Orr connection and it's not hard to see why there would be no haste to turn him into a celebrity pitchman.
We dare not even contemplate the spotlight he could have in two seasons' time. In 2015, McDavid could be the top NHL draft prospect and a member of the Canadian national junior team in the IIHF world U20 championship that is likely to be staged in Toronto. (Wait, isn't Hockey Canada aligned with Reebok's competitor, Nike?)
Take this as another sign of how advanced he is at 15 years old.
The added bonus is either way, this is fodder for both 5 Overhyped Teenage Athletes and 5 Youngest Athlete Endorsers lists on Bleacher Report. Just trying to help out. Sometimes they have writers' block over there.
(Stick tap: Russ Bitely.)
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.