Connor McDavid, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft and one of the best prospects since Sidney Crosby, is expected to miss significant time after suffering an injured collarbone on Tuesday night. The Edmonton Oilers center will have surgery on Wednesday, according to general manager Peter Chiarelli, and will be out "months."
McDavid went crashing into the boards in the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Rexall Place and did not return. He immediately skated off the ice while touching his left shoulder, but didn't appear to be in much pain.
"He's disappointed, it's disappointing to get injured," Oilers head coach Todd McLellan said. "It's his rookie year, things are going really well and he wants to be part of the group, which he still will be, just not in a uniform for a little while. I have a 19-year-old, I can't imagine how he would feel if he was in the NHL in his first year and got hurt."
There is no firm timetable for when McDavid will return, but several NHL players have suffered similar injuries and were back on the ice within two months.
Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane had surgery to repair a collarbone fracture in February, and was expected to miss 12 weeks, but returned in seven. The Winnipeg Jets' Tobias Enstrom and the Florida Panthers' Brian Campbell both were activated in seven weeks and six weeks, respectively. It took the Los Angeles Kings' Marian Gaborik a little more than nine weeks to be back on the ice.
McDavid had been enjoying an impressive start to his debut season. Through the first 13 games, the 18-year-old notched 12 points (five goals, seven assists), while winning Rookie of the Month for October. McDavid was also making an impact on power plays with two goals and an assist. His 18 minutes of ice time per game ranks fourth among forwards on Edmonton and the third out of all rookie forwards.
The Oilers have a home date on Friday with Pittsburgh Penguins. The matchup was eagerly anticipated, as it would have been McDavid's first opportunity to face Crosby.