McDavid suffered a broken left clavicle that required surgery in a November 3 game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Up until that point he was leading all rookies in scoring with 12 points in 12 games. He now ranks 18th overall among rookies and comes back to an Edmonton team that has struggled this year and is looking at good draft lottery placement yet again this year.
The Oilers went 14-18-5 in his absence and for the brief while he was in the lineup he was one of the team’s best forwards at driving play.
During Monday’s practice he was taking rushes with Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Eberle, which is bit of a shake-up from the line he was having so much success on earlier in the season that featured Pouliot and Nail Yakupov. But with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins out 6-to-8 weeks after blocking a shot with his hand, new Edmonton bench boss Todd McLellan hasn’t been able to have his entire top six healthy at any point this season. That makes reuniting that line difficult.
The good news coming out of practice is reports that he’s been taking some tough contact and looks ready to return. He spent the All-Star break playing in the AHL with the Bakersfield Condors, though he just practiced and didn’t play in any games.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 1, 2016
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Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.