Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid is taking over as the league’s best player, and there are so many factors that make him a top NHL talent.
However, what truly sets him apart from everyone else is his speed. McDavid is by far the fastest player in the NHL; it is easy to see in his stride, as well as during each shift. He easily files past his opponents and can outskate anyone, no matter how experienced or how prepared they are.
So, when it comes down to it, what makes McDavid so fast? How is he able to outskate and get around anybody, and how does this combine with his overall ability to help him put up points? Well, let’s break it down.
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The key to his speed is his ability to crossover. But he manages to make use of crossovers while still powering forward and not changing his direction on the ice – he still goes straight, and it makes him faster. With the crossovers, he is able to build momentum and save energy, which helps him gain more power. This then translates to fewer strides, which then leads to smoother, faster skating.
Also, he has a lot of strength in his legs, and it is clear from the way that he skates. When crossing over or taking strides, the 20-year-old is able to fully extend his foot off each skate, and can also dig into the ice and push harder as he goes forward. With his strength, he is able to skate faster and go the maximum level.
Not only that, he is excellent on his edges and is only getting better. He can quickly change directions and execute his decisions as soon as he makes them, and he is quick to do so, making it hard for his opponents to keep up with him on the ice.
Combining Skating and Ability
All of McDavid’s assets make him an elite top NHLer – he has great vision, stickhandling, playmaking, passing and scoring. Combining these attributes with his skating makes him arguably the best player in the world.
When he skates, he is able to get past anyone. If a defenceman is in front of him, he can quickly go around them. If someone is coming up behind him, he can power his way out of their reach. Even if someone is coming at him from the side, he is able to break away. This is because of his ability to combine his vision, awareness and skating – he can make a decision, see the play happening in front of him and know not only his next move but his opponent’s as well.
Overall, McDavid may be young, but his skating is unparalleled and is a huge reason why he is rising as one of the best currently in the game. Not only that, he is revolutionizing the league, and his speed is a huge part of that.