Connor McDavid hasn’t even been in a full-fledged preseason game, yet he already received his welcome-to-the-NHL moment.
That came in the form of a hard (but by all accounts clean) hit by Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen, as you can see via this clip from Friday’s Young Stars skirmish:
McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers prospects won 8-2, yet that check was the big story of that contest.
In case you’re wondering, it doesn’t sound like McDavid was being targeted by a player who suited up with him during the world juniors:
For what it’s worth, it doesn’t sound like hockey’s next big thing is making a big thing about the check Virtanen delivered:
Clean hit or not … McDavid being fair game or not … it’s probably fair to say that Virtanen will need to stay alert whenever he faces Oilers players (possibly at multiple levels).
Much like any budding superstar, McDavid will find himself “tested” by opponents from time to time. Last night was a reminder that, for all the hype that surrounds him, nothing’s a given.