They might not have seen Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel play up close yet but they’ve definitely heard the hype. The league’s best players gathered in Toronto last week for the NHL Player Tour and World Cup announcement and there was as much talk surrounding the Calder race this year as there was anything else happening around the league.
And it’s not just coming from the media. A few NHL players had a chance to see McDavid up close while training this summer and the word spread quickly among the players in the game.
“I came back to Vancouver five days ago and we have a lot of guys who played with him or against [McDavid],” said Canucks forward Daniel Sedin. “I know what the media is like -- and I’m like, ‘He can’t be that good.’ But talking to guys, they say he’s very Crosby-like in his skating, balance, his speed. Everything. It’s going to be interesting to see for sure.”
So we gave the players an opportunity to make the call now for league's top rookie: Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel or the field.
Here is the panel of 16 players who voted: Sean Monahan, Daniel Sedin, John Tavares, Tomas Tatar, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan Suter, Tuukka Rask, Ryan McDonagh, Steven Stamkos, Henrik Lundqvist, Duncan Keith, Erik Karlsson, Victor Hedman, Vladimir Tarasenko, Cory Schneider, Brandon Saad