SAN JOSE – Timo Meier was the constant media of Connor McDavid.
The sharks winger played with the Edmonton Oilers center in the CHL forecast game in 2015. They were two of the best players in the bigger Canada in front of the draft of that year, number 12 and No. 1 respectively , at NHL Central Scouting Midseason rankings of skateboards play in North America.
Yet, it was clear to Meier that McDavid was breaking over the rest.
"You could say that McDavid," said Meier Monday at the Sharks exercise facility, "and [eventual No. 2 pick Jack Eichel] ready to be highest men in the NHL. You could see that straight away. "
Meier Sharks will play McDavid's Oilers for the first time this March, and the two players are underway for career years. McDavid scored 28 points in his first 20 games, more than anyone from previous quarters. Meanwhile, Meier scored 12 goals in his first 21, and joined 11th in the league coming into Tuesday.
They are not alone, either.
On Tuesday morning, three of the NHL's top scorers this season were the 2015 trials. Winger Mikko Rantanen, who chose Colorado Avalanche, chose a fan after Meier in number 10 in general, leading the league with 32 points. Toronto Maple Leafs, the winner of Mitch Marner – ranked No. 4 tied for a third with McDavid.
Indeed, nine of the 64 players who scored at least 18 points were drafted by 2015. That was more than any other draft class, and matched the two previous draft together.
Of those nine, McDavid and Eichel were the only ones who play on their second contracts.
"Everyone is looking for cheap talent," says Peter DeBoer, Sharks coach, on Monday, "and the only cheap talent there are young men [on their entry-level contracts]. I believe that that has opened the door for teams to be more thinking about putting some people looking earlier than the past. "
2015 draft class rises to the occasion. Five players were drafted in 2015, including McDavid and Eichel, the All-Star team before this year. That group does not include Marner, Rantanen, the winner of Mathew Barzal or Thomas Chabot as the winner of the Calder Trophy, the second highest NHL scoring defender.
DeBoer considers the 2003 draft class the best it has seen in the last 20 years. He trained, or trained against, many of them in younger children and later in NHL. It is not alone in its assessment either, as there are 28 players – including the current Sharks Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski – from that class they have made an All-Star team of some kind.
It can still be seen whether the 2015 class will reach that height, as the most experienced players are only in their fourth season. However, their impact early in the 2018-19 campaign is impractical.
Meier said that she has not followed her draft methods of peers too close. Occasionally keep tabs, however, and said that seeing their success could be a strong motivation.
"You're trying to push you when you see male guys doing so well," said Meier. "So I think it's an incentive to see that, and you obviously want to compare them with those men and push their game to improve."