Erie Otters rookie and exceptional status player Connor McDavid will make his international debut as part of Team Ontario in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge on Saturday. The 15-year-old said he hopes it's the first of many times he represents his country on the international stage.
"This is the stepping stone," McDavid said. "The introduction to Hockey Canada with steps after that, hopefully the U18 team and World Juniors one day. That would be a dream come true, and I'll look to use this tournament to get me there."
And while McDavid has his sights set on future goals playing for Team Canada, that doesn't mean he's overlooking the Under-17 Challenge.
"I think it's going to be a really good tournament. There are a lot of good players here, a lot of great teams. I'm just excited to get it going."
Heading into the tournament, McDavid said he's focused on only one goal.
"Win the gold medal; that's it. There's nothing personal about this. I want to do everything to help the team win the gold medal. If we win, then we did what we came here to do."
The Toronto native may also have some added motivation in this tournament from his family.
"I have an uncle who won a world championship this past summer and he's always teasing me saying that I'm not a world champion so hopefully I can do that for him."
The preliminary round of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge begins Saturday. McDavid's Ontario squad opens play against Team USA.
The gold medal game can be seen on TSN2 on Friday, January 4 at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt.