Connor McDavid probably can’t go anywhere in Canada without being recognized, surely not in the province of Alberta. When two people spotted him at the Edmonton airport about six months ago they asked for a picture and started hugging him, creating an immediately viral and unbelievably awkward photo with McDavid in the center, appropriately, looking like he had no idea what was happening. In New York, where the Oilers have been all week with matchups against the Islanders and Devils before their Saturday matinee against the Rangers, McDavid says he doesn’t get recognized. “For a few days you can walk around and do whatever you want,” McDavid said this week. And though the 20-year-old has no problem dealing with all that has come from the meteoric rise which has made him a superstar north of the border and the center of attention at rinks across North America, he certainly doesn’t mind blending in. He is the NHL’s brightest young star, named the youngest captain in NHL history at 19 years and 266 days old last October. He put up a 100-point season, earning the Hart Trophy (MVP) in the process. The top pick in the 2015 draft is already considered by some to be the best player in the sport and landed on the cover of the NHL 18 video game; Sidney Crosby’s never been on the cover. Beginning next season he’ll have a league-high $12.5 million cap hit after signing an eight-year, $100 million extension in July. But the popularity that being the flourishing face of the NHL brings still pales to the drawing power and buzz in the United States, home to 24 of 31 NHL clubs, that stars from the NFL, NBA or MLB have. So McDavid at the Garden isn’t LeBron at the Garden, and might not be the hottest ticket in town. No matter for McDavid, who has enjoyed relative anonymity in his free time during the week.
Why does Connor McDavid, the NHL's brightest young star, still go unrecognized in the U.S.?
New York Daily News | Nov 10