|View single post by lobo316|
|Posted: Wed May 20th, 2015 08:00 pm||
|Todd McLellan was prepping for the future before he even had his new job.
The new head coach of the Edmonton Oilers made sure to get advice from Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby - whom he coached at the World Championship - about working with Connor McDavid, trying to understand what the youngster might be going through in his transition to the NHL.
"One of the things I did was spend some time with Sidney and ask him what it was like as a young 18-year-old coming up that way, some of the hardships he may have had or some of the things he appreciated … that his teammates or the organization did for him," said McLellan to Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun.
"It’s tough to be that player in this world, especially in a Canadian market, but Connor will be fine. He’ll get what he needs from the Oilers organization, the coaching staff and his teammates."
McDavid is the 2015 version of Crosby. A can't-miss prospect with first-overall pick written all over him. A franchise player who will change the future direction of the Oilers. A player who could become one of the greats.
With McLellan being responsible for the upbringing of the potential star, reaching out to Crosby, who went through a similar situation, was a bright move.
"I thought it through a lot," McLellan explained. "This is a special player. He has a special skill set that the fans are going to enjoy for a long time, but he’s still a young man.
"He’s learned how to deal with an immense amount of tension and pressure, but that’s at the junior level - it’s going to change when he gets to the NHL.
"It’s our job to make sure we get the most out of him in a really good environment - not a protecting environment, he has to learn how to deal with that - but making sure he is comfortable in his surroundings, taken care of away from the rink."
McDavid recently completed his last season of junior hockey with the Erie Otters, scoring 44 goals and adding 76 assists in 47 regular-season games, while adding another 49 points in 19 postseason contests.