Connor McDavid takes first skate at Rogers Place

Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid was the first Oilers player to skate on the ice of the newly built Rogers Place.

The Edmonton Oilers will be taking the ice in a brand new arena when they open up the 2016/17 NHL season. Rogers Place gives the franchise an upgraded facility they have been waiting for decades for after playing in one of the NHL’s oldest stadiums for years.

In an event to count down the days until the Oilers open up the regular season at Rogers Place against the Calgary Flames on October 12, the Oilers had Connor McDavid be the first player to skate on the new ice.

McDavid joined a group of local minor hockey players from Edmonton at the event on Thursday.

McDavid shared his first thoughts on Rogers Place to local reporters after the event, mentioning that he had no idea he would be the first Oilers player to skate on the new ice surface. Adding that he is excited to play in a new building as the Oilers look to make the next step and push for the playoffs in the Western Conference.

“No, (I didn’t know I’d be first). I just heard we were going to come here and do a little skate with some of the kids,” McDavid told the Oilers official website after the event. “But it was pretty special to be on the ice and do all that”

“I can’t wait to play here. The fans are going to be great. I hope it’s loud.”

The Oilers pushed for years to get a new stadium built in Edmonton after playing at their now former home since 1974. After spending $480 million Canadian to build a new 18,641 seat arena, the pressure is on McDavid to deliver winning hockey to a new building, as Oilers fans will be expecting a better team this season.