This post was originally published in August of 2017. We’re reposting this today as part of our May festival of revisiting the past — no time machine required.
Today SB Nation announced what most people already assumed, that Connor McDavid was voted the #1 player in the NHL under the age of 25.
I’m here to tell you why this is wrong.
Oh sure, McDavid is a pretty good hockey player. He was a superstar in junior, playing in a league well below his skill level by the time he got to his draft year, and he (not Kris Russell or Milan Lucic) led the Edmonton Oilers to their first playoff berth since they lost the 2006 Stanley Cup Final to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Most people have bought into the media fueled campaign that Connor McDavid is the best thing since Sidney Crosby, however I have the truth. Allow me to open your eyes and show you the truth.
Please press play before reading.
Does he play for the Toronto Maple Leafs?
This is a key question in picking the better player. The Toronto Maple Leafs are the greatest hockey club in the world, and it seems to be an unwritten rule that one former Maple Leaf must be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame every year, so you know they’re an important franchise.
Connor McDavid: Plays for the Edmonton Oilers
Auston Matthews: Plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs
Advantage: Auston Matthews wins this one because, unlike Connor McDavid, he plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Does he want to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Wanting to be a Maple Leaf is key to being a successful player in the organization. We can’t hold the fact that someone who wants to be a Maple Leaf is currently playing on another team, see also: John Tavares.
Connor McDavid: Of course he does. He was clearly disappointed to be heading to Edmonton.
Auston Matthews: Clearly he does, look how happy he was to awkwardly put on a jersey over a suit at the draft.
Advantage: Tie. Both players clearly want to come to Toronto. See you in 2026 Connor!
Did he play in the Ontario Hockey League?
The OHL is the top developmental league in the world, no matter what the wrong people say. I have to give all former OHLers a bonus point.
Connor McDavid: Yes, he played three season in the OHL with the Erie Otters, but failed to win an OHL championship or a Memorial Cup.
Auston Matthews: No. He played for the US National Teen Development Program and then went to Switzerland.
Advantage: Connor McDavid. While Matthews made the most of his pre-draft year by banking some cash in the Alps, he could have done right and played in the OHL. Yes he was drafted into the WHL, but there are ways around that.
Did he win the Calder Trophy?
Connor McDavid: No. He broke his collarbone early in his rookie season and ended up losing the Calder to Chicago Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin, who was 85 years old that season.
Auston Matthews: Yes. He set multiple records for a Maple Leafs rookie and had a near perfect first place ballot for the Calder trophy, thanks to bitter Jets* writers.
Advantage: Auston Matthews. Hey speaking of....
Does he have an intact collarbone?
Connor McDavid: No.
Auston Matthews: Yes, he is still practically perfect in every way.
Advantage: Auston Matthews. I broke my collar bone playing hockey one time, and it’s never been the same. Don’t want a player who is damaged goods.
Has he scored 40 goals in a season?
Connor McDavid: In two NHL seasons, he has topped out at 30 goals.
Auston Matthews: In his first NHL season he scored 40 goals.
Advantage: Auston Matthews, clearly. If someone is the “best player”, how can he not score more goals? Hockey is a goal-scoring competition after all.
Has he scored four goals in one game?
Connor McDavid: No. He didn’t even score a hat trick in his rookie season.
Auston Matthews: Scored four goals in his first NHL game.
Advantage: Auston Matthews. He scored four goals in his very first NHL game, making the Ottawa Senators look like an ECHL team in a game no one cares about the outcome of.
Did he have to drag a goon around the ice?
Connor McDavid: Played 690 minutes with Milan Lucic.
Auston Matthews: Played 29 minutes with Matt Martin.
Advantage: Auston Matthews spent the majority of the season with William Nylander and made a record-setting rookie out of Zach Hyman.
Is he a nice dresser?
Dresses like Justin Bieber:
I was ready to defend Matthews here, but...
The Canadian tuxedo?
Advantage: No one. Damn teenagers.
Does he photograph well?
Advantage: Auston Matthews photographs well from any angle, and we’re all lucky to have him with us. This photo is a good segue to our next question.
Does he love his mom?
McDavid: Sure, maybe, but we haven’t seen it.
Matthews: Took his mom to the NHL awards.
Advantage: Close win for Auston, as bad as the NHL awards are, his mom got to see him named rookie of the year in person, something Mrs. McDavid will have never gotten to do.
So, as you can see, thanks for my very scientific evidence, Auston Matthews is the superior hockey player to Connor McDavid.
Check back next week for my expose on the incredible wrongness that is the fact that the Buffalo Sabres exist.