Kukla's Korner

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Checking In With Connor McDavid

from Stephen Whyno of the CP at CKPGToday,

Connor McDavid did not take much time off after he and the Edmonton Oilers were swept out of the playoffs in the first round.

The unanimous NHL MVP returned to the ice in July and worked hard to improve his defensive game with an eye on building off a 105-point season in just 56 games. McDavid’s preparations take another step this week, skating with more than a dozen other players at the annual BioSteel pro hockey camp, and becoming a better all-around player is his focus.

“This is one of those weeks where guys are really trying to ramp it up and dial in their details, and I’m no different,” McDavid told The Associated Press. “I’m trying to keep the details where they need to be, and that way when it comes camp it’s not just a light switch.”

McDavid is widely considered the best player in the world but at 24 he said he feels he is just entering his prime. Last season he put up 21 more points than the next-closest player — teammate Leon Draisaitl — and had the best faceoff percentage of his career, yet there’s still room to improve.

After another early playoff exit, the 2015 No. 1 pick said he thinks the the root of a deeper run is better play without the puck and in his own end. It’s not easy to practice in summer skates that are more like shinny than postseason hockey, but McDavid has taken it upon himself to try.

“It’s lots of battle drills, lots of little 1-on-1 things, scrimmage stuff — just trying to stop on pucks, get into some battles and really focus on that,” he said. “For me that’s always kind of where the defensive game slips is when I’m not dialed into those details and stopping on pucks and supporting guys and doing all that.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com