Sportsnet – SAM COSENTINO
With the holidays over and world juniors wrapped up, Friday Night Hockey returns with a bang to kick off the unofficial second half of the CHL season. We’ve got a matchup of Canadian gold medallists as Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters head to London to take on Max Domi and the Knights.
A year after not even being invited to Canada’s selection camp, Domi proved his worth at the world juniors, producing 10 points and electrifying crowds from start to finish in Montreal and Toronto. Domi’s three-point effort in the final helped ensure his place amongst the top three Canadians in the tournament along with linemate Sam Reinhart and defenceman Darnell Nurse. Further, Domi was selected by the tournament’s directorate as the 2015 WJC Top Forward.
Now back to work for Domi, London’s captain. Before leaving for the world juniors he had 58 points in 27 games. Along with the OHL’s top scorer in Mitch Marner and Arizona second-round pick Christian Dvorak, the Knights are once again an offensive juggernaut.
Domi is not to be outdone by the likely first overall pick in June’s draft, Connor McDavid, who is still four days shy of his 18th birthday. McDavid had been off 40 days before taking to the ice in pre-tournament action on December 21. The budding young star got off to a pedestrian start at the world juniors, but his game improved dramatically by the end. The Erie Otters phenom ended in a tie for the tournament lead with 11 points. At the time of McDavid’s injury, he was leading the OHL with 51 points in just 18 games. Erie Assistant Coach Jay McKee once said that McDavid would be able to produce in the NHL right now.
Not only does this game feature Domi versus McDavid, it also features Marner versus Dylan Strome, both of whom will hear their names called at the 2015 NHL Draft a short time after McDavid.
To hear more from McDavid and his world junior exploits, check out this week’s edition of Junior. Sportsnet’s CHL podcast
And, if you’re curious as to what the world’s best junior players do to win, here’s your answer: #WhatToWin.