Washington Capitals prospect Connor McMichael is having an incredible start to his draft + 1 season. The good times continued Sunday in Erie.
The London Knights continued their winning ways with a 4-0 win over the Erie Otters. McMichael had two assists to help the Knights to the top of the Midwest Division. His season to date is the stuff of MVP’s.
McMichael completed his 21st game of his OHL season in London. He is averaging over a goal and an assist in every game he suits up for. He impacts the game at both ends of the ice. He’s a menace on the power play. He impacts the game while shorthanded. Just look at his insane early numbers.
- 21 games.
- 23 goals.
- 28 assists.
- 9 power-play goals.
- 11 power-play assists.
- 2 shorthanded goals.
- 2.43 points per game.
- 54.2% faceoffs won.
- Current 14-game point streak.
- Has points in 20 of 21 games.
- Has 15 multi-point games.
- Has two 4-point games, one 5-point game and one 6-point game.
This is complete dominance. Consider McMichael had 72 points in 67 games in his draft season. He already has 51 points in less than one-third of the games. It makes you wonder where this came from. We knew he was good but I’m not sure many saw this kind of start coming.
The Hockey Writers was able to get a couple minutes with McMichael Sunday after London’s 4-0 win. We asked him what’s working so well. He’s someone with few words but let’s his play do all the talking.
“Just playing with the same few linemates,” McMichael said. “Our team has been clicking.”
I’ll say they’ve been clicking. Coach Dale Hunter just put McMichael along with Columbus Blue Jacket prospect Liam Foudy together on a line. McMichael discussed what makes Foudy special.
“He went 18th overall for a reason. He’s got blazing speed. He’s got really great vision and a good shot. It’s awesome playing with him and it’s easy.”
McMichael then shared the big thing that happened over the summer that got him to this elite level.
“Probably just confidence. I got a lot of confidence from camp just watching the NHLers practice and play in some exhibition games. I just came back to London full of confidence.”
Foudy shared the things that make McMichael a special talent.
“It’s his hockey IQ,” Foudy said of McMichael. “His shot also. It’s improved a lot over the last couple of years and now everything he shoots seems to go in. He came back from camp with a different swagger.”
Foudy is correct. McMichael has 23 goals on 91 shots this season. While that is due for some correction, it just goes to show you the speed and skill that this duo has. They’ve helped the Knights recover from an average start and seem primed and ready for takeoff for the rest of this season.
Stuff of MVP’s
If the Red Tilson ended today, my vote would go to McMichael as the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player. He does more in other areas of the game that give him a leg up. It’s sort of incredible that he fell as far as he did in the first round. How many teams do you think would love having him now? The Capitals grabbed him and will eventually reap huge rewards as a result.
Want to see how to sustain NHL success? Let Alex Ovechkin and Niklas Backstrom do their thing for several years. Then grab impact prospects at the draft. It’s no wonder things in Washington continue to look bright for them. As for McMichael, he’s a reason why the Capitals outlook will remain bright even if the big guns start to slow down some.