McDavid and Eichel face-off at the WJC providing a glimpse into a great future rivalry
Gordie Howe versus Bobby Hull, Wayne Gretzky facing off opposite Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby against Alex Ovechkin. These are some of the great names going toe to toe in the greatest times this game has ever seen.
Today in Montreal, two young stars get set to show the planet just how good they are at the World Junior Championship. Connor McDavid will represent Canada and Jack Eichel will sport the Red, White & Blue of the U.S.A. in a matchup that is like a movie trailer for a future blockbuster.
The 6’1″, 190 lbs, 17 year old Connor McDavid’s bio reads like the next best thing to happen to hockey since Sidney Crosby. Over at Elite Prospects they wrote:
A generational talent, Connor McDavid is a catalyst for positive plays in all three zones. Thinks the game analytically and recognizes scoring chances before they have even happened. Blessed with good size and an elite-level skillset, which includes nimble skating and deft puckhandling. All-in-all, a dominant center with all of the will, power, and intangibles to become a successful hockey luminary. (Curtis Joe, EP 2014)
As for slightly older and bigger Jack Eichel (18, 6’2″, 195lbs) he’s no second fiddle. ESPN’s John Buccigross wrote of him:
Eichel has a long, powerful stride that makes him a deceptively fast skater, much like the stride Mario Lemieux had. He looks like he is not working hard, but that is because he has such a long, graceful, efficient stride, like he is floating on the ice.
Without ever having played one game in the NHL, both these kids are generating as much press and excitement to rival NHL stars like Steven Stamkos and Tyler Sequin. Still, don’t think for a second that these two kids will let their egos get in the way.
“At the end of the day, it’s not me versus him. It’s the U.S. versus Canada,” Connor was quoted by the National Post. QMI agency noted that Eichel stated, “It’s not at all about me and Connor. It’s a huge matchup for the top seed in the bracket. It’s Canada vs. the U.S.”
Of course, as Cam Tucker of NBC explained, “it is also about McDavid versus Eichel. Who are we kidding?” We couldn’t agree more as all eyes will undoubtedly be fixated on either or both of these kids when they are on the ice today.
At 4PM, I will be glued to my TV watching the “Battle of McDavid & Eichel”. I don’t even care who wins, because for the next 15-20 years, every hockey fan will be winning just watching these two young men shine.