Chara in awe of NHL's young talent, says McDavid could have played at 16

After 1,426 NHL regular season games, it’d be easy to say Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara has seen it all.

But he’d be the first to tell you that’s not true. In face, he’s often amazed by what he sees from young players coming into the league.

“You see the skill they already have. It’s way more advanced. In our era, it didn’t exist. If someone would say they’re taking a power skating class or a figure skating class, you would get laughed at,” Chara said.

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At 41, Chara is the second-oldest player in the league behind Pittsburgh’s Matt Cullen.

“I played with him in his his prime. I know how great he takes care of himself,” said current Edmonton Oilers winger and former Bruin Milan Lucic. “He loves to compete. I think those are the things that keep him going,”

At 6’9″ with an attitude that’s even bigger, Chara has been a menace to opposing players since his rookie year with the Islanders back in 1997/98. Now he’s trying to keep up with a new generation of stars, led by Edmonton’s Connor McDavid.

“He probably could have played in the NHL at 16. He was so advanced,” said Chara. “As a 16-year-old, he probably would have had 80 points.”

“That means a lot coming from him. He’s one of the world’s best back there,” McDavid said. “He’s really hard to play against. He’s definitely not slowing down at all.”

The Oilers will meet the Bruins Thursday night in Boston. Catch the game on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 3:30 p.m. The game will start at 5 p.m.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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