TORONTO -- Connor McDavid has finally started playing with his Edmonton Oilers teammates -- or at least two of them.
The 2015 No. 1 pick joined Oilers teammates Taylor Hall and Darnell Nurse on Monday at a practice for a preseason mini-tournament in Toronto.
It was the first time future linemates Hall and McDavid skated together, and the young center's skills were immediately apparent to the Edmonton left wing.
"He's got a lot of foot speed," Hall said. "He seems to glide faster than most guys skate in full speed. It's fun to be out here with him, fun to hang around him and hopefully make him feel more comfortable for what he's got in store."
McDavid was taken first overall by the Oilers after he dominated the Ontario Hockey League. He scored 44 goals and added 76 assists in the regular season, despite missing time with a broken hand. McDavid was even better in the playoffs, in which he averaged more than two points a game with 21 goals and 28 assists in 20 games for the Erie Otters.
Like Hall, McDavid was impressed by his new teammate's speed.
"It's very exciting to play with him," McDavid said. "Obviously, he's a great player, and I got a better sense of how fast he is. You watch him on TV, but it's a whole different story live."
Although Hall was the top selection in the 2010 draft, he says there's no comparing his experience with that of the highly touted McDavid.
"He's been through so much already, with all the hype that he's had to endure," Hall said. "I wasn't anywhere close to that. I was the first overall pick, but at the same time, it wasn't anything like what Connor's experiencing. Our job in Edmonton is not only to play well with him, but make sure he's comfortable because that's going to allow him to play his best."
McDavid will have a familiar face on the Oilers in Nurse, one of his former junior rivals. Nurse and McDavid often tangled with each other in the OHL. Nurse, a defenseman with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, played in a physical Western Conference final against McDavid's Otters. Erie won in six games.
Old animosity has already been set aside, with the defenseman and center hitting it off at the preseason tournament.
"We were sitting beside each other in the room in there, and we were laughing and having good times," Nurse said. "It's a lot more fun than going into a corner and trying to cross check him and run him through the boards."
Hall isn't worried about how McDavid will fit in with the Oilers or how Edmonton's forward lines will shake out.
"It takes a little bit of time to get chemistry and stuff," Hall said. "The one thing about Edmonton is we've always had some pretty good forward depth, especially in our top six. With Connor coming in, that doesn't change. Whoever I'm playing with, whether it's Connor or Nuge [Ryan Nugent-Hopkins] or Jordan [Eberle], there's going to be some special players, and hopefully, we can have some fun this year."
McDavid has spent most of the summer training with former NHL player and strength and conditioning expert Gary Roberts. McDavid has improved his fitness and gotten bigger for the more physical professional game.
"Everyone's bigger, stronger, faster," McDavid said. "I think everything's just elevated a lot. [I'm] just getting used to that and being a pro."