The young Edmonton Oilers rookie fell rather awkwardly into the boards in the second period of Tuesday’s game against Philadelphia Flyers and is expected to be out for a long time.
The highly touted No. 1 draft pick and leading rookie scorer did not return to the game afterwards and following his team’s 4-2 win over the visiting Flyers, Oilers coach, Todd McLellan revealed that the extent of injury is such that the youngster is forced to sit out for a long time before revealing that the doctors are still running tests on him.
McDavid, who was chosen ahead of Buffalo Sabres prospect Jack Eichel during the June draft, injured his left shoulder in the collision in which Philadelphia defensemen, Michael Del Zotta and Brandon Manning sandwiched the falling Oilers rookie into the end boards behind the Flyers’ net after losing their balance during the play.
McDavid was visibly in pain following the collision and after getting up slowly, was seen holding his left shoulder with his hand as he skated to the bench. Later on in the game, he was seen wearing a sling on his left arm and was clearly distraught at the injury which is likely to put him out of action for quite some time.
McLellan is aware of the player’s disappointment at the injury but admits that he won’t be able to use the rookie for a while at least.
“I just saw him and told him to keep his head up,” said McLellan. “He’s disappointed he got injured. It’s his rookie year and it’s going really well and he wants to be part of the group … which he still will be, he’s just not going to wear the uniform for a while.
Indeed it is quite sad to see such a talented 18-year-old player get injured in his first NHL year. Training staff was seen speaking with McDavid on the bench and then guided him to the dressing room after the second period ended. During the break, the team announced that the rookie will not be returning for the third period.
The teenage sensation has already scored five goals and racked up seven assists in just 12 games for the Oilers and is the second top scorer for his first NHL team.
Ever since he signed with the Oilers, he has become one of their most important players and in just 12 games, has shown that he can guide this team to better days in years to come. Boasting a plus/minus rating of minus-three, Edmonton were hoping to see the youngster help the team shake off their bad luck when it comes to playoffs in recent years. Since the 2006 Stanley Cup Final, Edmonton has missed out on a playoff spot each year but the arrival of McDavid gave fans a lot of hope for all this to change.
And although his rookie season has not been the perfect one by any means, his long-term injury could potentially affect the Oilers’ ability to remain competitive and consistent and could also affect the player’s ability to develop after such a promising beginning.