Sunrise, Fla. — For Connor McDavid, this is only the beginning.
And he's eager to see what comes next.
There's no mystery, no drama, no guessing about what will happen when Edmonton makes the first pick in Friday's NHL draft. It's going to be McDavid's moment, as hockey's latest heir apparent — a 6-foot-1 center who's already been compared to the game's royalty — takes his first steps on the road to what many expect will be a rapid rise to professional stardom.
"You only go through the draft process once and it's something you want to savor," McDavid said. "It's something I've been looking forward to for a long, long time. (You're) going to be so happy when you're drafted, but that's when the hard work starts."
He's going to a place that saw the Stanley Cup get hoisted five times in seven seasons from 1984-90, with no titles since and not even as much as a playoff appearance since 2006.
And the Oilers haven't exactly cashed in on having the top pick; McDavid will be their fourth No. 1 overall selection in the last six years.
But he's supposed to be different. He gets compared to Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby — even LeBron James, the thinking being that he's a young guy who can be a leader right away and not buckle under the burden of expectations.
"Time will tell, but at this age, yes, probably," Florida general manager Dale Tallon said when asked if McDavid is the best prospect since Crosby.
Hobey Baker winner Jack Eichel from Boston University almost surely will be the No. 2 pick, going to the Sabres. Many in Buffalo likely were disappointed when the Sabres didn't win the draft lottery and the chance to grab McDavid.
Eichel said he's looking forward to reminding them that they're getting a pretty good player.
"I'm pretty confident in my own abilities," Eichel said.
Quebec seeks team
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Quebec City is the ideal place for an NHL expansion team.
"If you're looking at markets, I would certainly say to the NHL, to anyone, there is no better place for an expansion team in the National Hockey League than this city, Quebec, which is a great hockey center," Harper said in the provincial capital Thursday after an unrelated news conference.
Harper spoke a day after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced league officials will begin a formal expansion process next month.
Shortly after Bettman's comment, a Quebec group said it plans to apply for a franchise.
Stoll pleads guilty
Kings center Jarret Stoll pleaded guilty to two reduced misdemeanor charges to resolve a felony cocaine case stemming from his April arrest at a Las Vegas Strip swimming pool. A felony charge of cocaine possession was dismissed.
Chesnoff says Stoll was sentenced to 32 hours of community service.
Original Six start
NHL officials released the schedule for the 2015-16 season, and two openers pit Original Six teams — the Rangers at the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks on Oct. 7 and the Maple Leafs at the Red Wings on Oct. 9.
The N.Y. Islanders host Chicago on Oct. 9 in the first game in their new home, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
On New Year's Day, Boston hosts Montreal in the Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium.
The Avalanche acquired forward Carl Soderberg from the Bruins for a sixth-round pick in the 2016 draft. Soderberg had 44 points (13 goals) last season.