It's time to get excited about Connor McDavid and his accomplishments in the first half of the season.
The Erie Otters have been fortunate enough that the production of McDavid has more-or-less matched the hype that comes naturally attached to the annual exceptional 15-year old allowed to be picked in the priority selection.
And, depressing as it may be that jersey numbers representing birth years have crawled into the high nineties, it's stunning that McDavid has been able to live up to the hype. Sure, his Erie Otters aren't quite in playoff contention just yet, but they've won three more games through 29 games than they did last season.
Somehow, that hasn't led to an increase in fans at the gate. The Otters, despite McDavid's success, have an average home attendance of just 2,631, down from 2,849 this time last season. On the road, however, 4,861 fans are coming to see Erie play versus 4,623 last season. The legend grows!
While success at the gate hasn't come for the Otters, the Toronto-born star has already been dubbed the "consensus No. 1 overall pick for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft" by the team more than three years in advance. A game-worn Connor McDavid jersey the team was auctioning off fetched a bid higher than $1,000 on Tuesday morning:
The game worn Connor McDavid Erie Otters jersey has met its reserve and bids have topped $1,000 less than 24 hours after being put up for auction on eBay.
The jersey was worn by McDavid in the game against the Plymouth Whalers on November 28, in which he tallied a goal and an assist. The jersey is also autographed by McDavid on the back.
To other trivial matters, and more about the play of McDavid, I dug around and found a few interesting statistics. The lone other recent 15-year old forward in the OHL, John Tavares, had 17 goals and 31 points in his first 29 games in the league. McDavid is up to 17 goals and 36 points, slightly eclipsing the eventual New York Islanders star.
Comparisons to Tavares are more trivial and don't tell us very much about a player, though. What is useful information to us is that McDavid's 15 even strength goals put him fourth in the OHL, behind just Boone Jenner (21), Ryan Strome (19) and Dylan Smoskowitz (16). McDavid is tied in that category with Saginaw Spirit 19-year old Vincent Trocheck. Three 16-year old rookies are tied for second on the list with just 9 even strength goals: Spencer Watson of Kingston, Anthony DiFruscia of Niagara, and the Soo's Jared McCann.
Just three games this year McDavid has been held point-less, and his overall scoring rate ought to pick up more as he sees more powerplay time later in the year. Currently, 10 of his assists were registered on the powerplay, and as excellent of a stickhandler he is, he is perhaps under appreciated as a passer who enjoys working in open space. Teammate Connor Brown enjoys this aspect of McDavid's game: 11 of his 16 goals have come with the man advantage.