Connor McDavid is the next “THE NEXT ONE,” as NHL teams prepare to throw their seasons down the toilet in 2014-15 season in order to improve their draft lottery chances for the junior hockey phenom.
We don’t know who will select him, but we know where he’ll be selected: Sunrise, Florida, as the NHL Draft heads to the Sunshine State in June 2015 for the thrilling conclusion of the Connor McDavid Derby, according to George Richards of the Miami Herald. An official announcement could come from the NHL on Tuesday.
(Also interesting from Richards: The NHL promised to bring the Draft and the All-Star Game, eventually, to Sunrise if Broward County provided the funds for the team’s new scoreboard.)
The Panthers previously hosted the 2001 NHL Draft at what was then the National Car Rental Center, when Ilya Kovalchuk went first overall to the Atlanta Thrashers (RIP) and the Panthers selected Stephen Weiss ahead of Mikko Koivu. In fairness, they also avoided calamity, as Weiss was in the middle of a crap sandwich called Alexander Svitov (third overall) and Stanislav Chistov (fifth overall).
Sunrise will be the sixth U.S. market in a row to get the Draft, after a run of three Canadian markets in four years from 2006-09. That's the longest run for American NHL markets with the Draft since it began traveling in the late 1980s.
The 2014 NHL Draft will be held this June in Philadelphia, where Flyers fans can point and laugh at the Devils for having to surrender their lottery pick for the Kovalchuk contract.
So it’s South Florida that gets the chance to see Connor McDavid wear an NHL jersey for the first time. We can only assume it’ll be a Panthers jersey, because why else give Florida this draft if not for the massive, franchise-saving PR campaign that would accompany McDavid going first overall to the host team?
Oh, we’re just being conspiratorial. Everyone knows the NHL doesn’t fix the Draft for anyone but Pittsburgh.