Those that went into this season excited about the projected top two picks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, haven’t been given much reason to lower their expectations.
Despite fracturing a bone in his hand during a fight and missing part of the season to compete in the World Juniors, McDavid ranks third in the Ontario Hockey League’s scoring race. He’s only been held off the scoresheet once all season and has 40 goals and 109 points in 42 contests. The London Knights’ Mitchell Marner — who is another high-end 2015 draft prospect — leads the pack with 44 goals and 123 points in 59 contests.
McDavid also extended his point streak to 27 contests by registering two assists on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Eichel has been a force as a freshman with Boston University. He has 18 goals and an NCAA-leading 55 points in just 32 contests in 2014-15. He’s been particularly effective lately with 15 points over the span of his current eight-game point streak.
He’ll try to take that momentum into the Hockey East Tournament, which will begin for Boston on Friday with the first game of its best-of-three quarterfinal-round series versus Merrimack. Boston hasn’t won the tournament since 2009.
Both players are regarded as potential franchise cornerstones. The 30th place NHL squad (currently the Buffalo Sabres) is guaranteed the opportunity to draft one of them, but only has a 20% chance of winning the lottery. The 29th NHL team (currently the Edmonton Oilers) is the only other team with the potential to secure the second overall pick and has a 13.5% chance of winning the lottery.