Connor McDavid will be out “months,” according to Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli on Wednesday.
McDavid, who suffered an injury in Tuesday night’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers and left the game, is scheduled to have surgery on a broken left clavicle Chiarelli announced at Wednesday’s press conference.
Chiarelli said that McDavid will be “out indefinitely… we’re talking about months.” Asked about the severity he said that “there will be plates and screws involved.”
It’s a terrible situation for McDavid, who has been an incredible force on the ice already at 18 with five goals and seven assists in his first 12 games. Chiarelli struck home on that personal side when he said, “The human side is there was an 18-year-old kid… after the game who was very upset and had a significant injury.”
He also ominously added, when asked if the injury could be season-ending, “based on what I’ve heard, I don’t think so… but there’s always a small chance.”
It’s a really tough blow for a kid who has had a lot placed on his shoulders, both by himself, media and fans throughout his teenage years and was hailed like Caesar coming into Edmonton.
On the game-side of things, it’s kind of incredible but the loss of this 18-year-old is devastating to the Oilers, who have been much, much better with McDavid on the ice than when he’s off. The Oilers are posting a score-adjusted CF% of 50.14% when McDavid is out there and 44.09% when he’s not. That’s significant and could impact the team’s improvement this season, particularly the improved play from linemate Nail Yakupov.
I’m not making light of the injury to note that without McDavid things are going to be even tougher for the Oilers, who were unlikely to make the playoffs as things stand.
That means they’re back in the draft lottery in a year that has some very good players available in the top four or five spots. Even outside of Auston Matthews, guys like Matthew Tkachuk, Jesse Puljujarvi, Jakob Chychrun or even, maybe a little further down, McDavid’s former linemate in Eerie, Alex Debrincat. Another year of a high draft pick is — and we’ve said this before, to be sure — going to make Edmonton a real behemoth coming down the line.
Edmonton fans had been told they are done waiting and the injury to McDavid may mean that progress is slowed this year, but they’re building something kind of incredible there and McDavid will continue to be the lynchpin of the movement.
RELATED: Disaster Strikes McDavid and NHL
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.