Jack Eichel pushing Connor McDavid for top spot in 2015 draft

Canadian forward Connor McDavid (right) has the puck poked away by U.S. forward Jack Eichel during...

Canadian forward Connor McDavid (right) has the puck poked away by U.S. forward Jack Eichel during the under-18 world championship final in Sochi, Russia April 28, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/ALEXANDER NEMENOV)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:25 PM ET

Connor McDavid is the favourite to be picked first in the 2015 National Hockey League draft, but Jack Eichel isn’t going to let him simply waltz in and take the honour.

Eichel, a 6-foot-1 191-pound centre, has been turning heads for the United States for months and has been sharp at the world junior championship, scoring two goals and adding an assist in two U.S. victories, tying him for the team scoring lead.

The Massachusetts native stars for the U.S. national under-18 team, and is making it clear McDavid, the sixth 16-year-old to play for Canada in the world junior, will have a challenger in 2015.

“He is a great player and I just try to compete,” Eichel said Saturday after the U.S. beat Slovakia 6-3. “It would be an honour to get drafted in general and to be considered in the same sentence of a player his calibre, it’s a good compliment. I just have to keep working and get better every day.”


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