Very few hockey players are granted the honor of Exceptional Player Status, this means that they are eligible to play one year earlier than every body else in the CHL. This decision is not only based on talent but also the panel also uses academics and maturity level to determine if a player should be granted this privilege.
Exceptional Player Status, A Rare Occurrence
Only 5 players were granted Exceptional Player Status so far, John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad, Connor McDavid, Sean Day and Joe Veleno.
John Tavares, 2005
Tavares was drafted by the Oshawa Generals as an underage player, the first one to be awarded the Exceptional Status. Since then, Tavares won the world junior championship gold medal, the 2014 Olympic Gold Medal and is considered on of the best player in the NHL.
Aaron Ekblad, 2011
The first ever defenceman to be awarded this honor, Aaron Ekblad is already showing that he’s got what it takes to play in the NHL. With only 13 games played with the Florida Panthers Ekblad already as 8 points!
Connor McDavid, 2012
This kid is a competition beast! He showed it when he played as a 16 year old during the 2014 world Juniors. He’s been playing in the OHL for 3 years now and he’s averaging 3 points per game at only 17 years old. He broke a bone in his hand during a fight earlier in the season but he only had to miss 1 months of hockey, which shouldn’t affect is draft rank. Check out McDavid’s first goal.
Sean Day, 2013
Sean Day was born in Belgium but raised in Detroit Michigan.
Joe Veleno, 2015
Joe Veleno is the first Quebec born player to be granted exceptional player status.