Connor McDavid is in Buffalo tonight, playing what will hopefully be his first of many home games in the First Niagara Center, as the Erie Otters are hosting the Niagara Ice Dogs at the FNC tonight at 7pm.
The young man who's dominated draft talk for the past three years is a special player, and for Buffalo Sabres fans, whe chance to see him in person could be a special chance to peek into the future. His stat line is impressive enough - McDavid has eight goals and 17 assists in just nine games - but I urge you to go watch him tonight in person if you can. The numbers don't really do his overall game justice, and at the very least, getting a chance to see McDavid will hopefully provide some solace during a horrible stretch of hockey by the team that usually takes in the ice in Buffalo.
McDavid becomes the third top prospect to play a game at the FNC - a few weeks ago, Buffalonians had the chance to watch Jack Eichel and Noah Hanifin play in the CCM/USA All-American Prospects game. Eichel lived up to the hype by flying around the ice and being named first star of the all-star game, while Hanifin was no slouch himself, making plays that reminded me of watching Rasmus Ristolainen in last year's World Junior Championship.
Tonight's game is another event in the Terry Pegula-fueled dream of turning Buffalo into the premier hockey destination in America. They've hosted the All-American prospects game twice, and the completion of the HARBORCenter facility along with the continued development of the downtown area will allow the region to host the 2015 & 2016 draft combines, the 2016 NHL Draft, and the 2015 U-18 women's world championships over the next few years. The additional regionalization that comes with hosting AHL and major junior hockey games is another step in that direction for Buffalo, and it doesn't hurt that the best prospect in years will be involved tonight.
If you can, go watch McDavid tonight - tickets are $15 and still available here. If you're going, let us know in the comments, and make sure to share your thoughts after the game.