The application process, which was administered by Hockey Canada and a special evaluation committee, takes several factors into consideration. Items such as education, skill level, and a psychological evaluation played part in the decision, but most important was whether or not playing another season of midget hockey would impair McDavid’s development on the ice. The decision turned out to be unanimous, making McDavid only the third player to be granted exceptional status. He now joins the likes of John Tavares and Aaron Ekblad, both of whom were number one choices in the OHL draft.
Playing with the Toronto Marlboros last season, McDavid racked up an impressive 33 goals and 39 assists for 72 points in only 33 games played. These totals earned him the honors of player of the year in the Greater Toronto Hockey League. He continued his success last weekend in helping the Marlies to a finals appearance in the OHL cup. McDavid was named tournament MVP and picked up 11 goals and 8 assists for 19 points in only 7 games played.
“There’s no other way to say it, the kid’s good,” said one OHL scout who has been keeping a close eye on McDavid. “Skill wise he’s off the charts, you just can’t take your eyes off him.”
Preparation for the OHL draft on April 7th has already begun, and the Erie Otters hold the top pick. While McDavid, his family, and the Otters organization have had conversations, it is still unknown whether or not he would report to the Otters. “Connor is very, very excited to be where he is today and having received the exceptional status designation,” said Brian McDavid, Connor’s father. “He’s looking forward to the draft. We don’t know for sure where Connor’s going to be drafted, I think there’s lots of speculation on that, and once that day comes we’ll move forward at that point. So, I don’t know how to answer it other than that.”
The Otters earned the top pick in the draft by finishing 2011-12 with a 10-52-3-3 record. “He’ll get a lot of ice time (in Erie),” the OHL scout said. “That’s always one of the biggest concerns, especially when you’re developing.