McDavid Fractures Hand: World Juniors In Question

McDavid Will Miss 5-6 Weeks

The Erie Otters have announced that phenom Connor McDavid could miss up to 5-6 weeks of the Erie Otters schedule after fracturing his right hand in a fight in a game on Tuesday against the Mississauga Steelheads. According to the media release, McDavid suffered a fracture of his 5th metacarpal bone in his right hand.  The report also goes on to state that McDavid will not require surgery.

McDavid got into a fight with the Steelheads Bryson Cianfrone.  It appeared that near the end of the fight, McDavid threw a couple of punches, the last of which either hit the glass or the risers.  McDavid went to the penalty box holding his right hand.  Because he was assessed a penalty for removing the helmet of another player during a fight, he was given an automatic game misconduct, which according to OHL rules, results in an automatic 1 game suspension.  This of course won’t matter now that McDavid will be out 5-6 weeks.

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Today I had the chance to visit the Erie Otters the day after the punch heard around the world.  After talking with Otters head coach Kris Knobloch, forwards Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat, and defenseman Kurtis MacDermid, you could tell that there was disappointment in the injury.  At the same time, the players knew that they each need to step their games up in his absence.  They each also mentioned that there is a real opportunity for some of Erie’s younger players.

Will McDavid Play At World Juniors?

The big question out there is will Connor McDavid play at the World Junior tournament starting on December 26th?  At this point, it is questionable, depending on how his hand heals.  The 6 week point would put it at December 24th.  Otters GM Sherwood Bassin did indicate that McDavid “hopes” to play in the tournament.  This story will be worth monitoring as the end of the calendar year approaches.

How Will The Erie Otters Fare?

Obviously, when you take someone the caliber of Connor McDavid out of a lineup, there will be an impact.  Dylan Strome will now be the number 1 center in his absence.  He is currently the 2nd leading scorer in the OHL, behind McDavid.  In fact, the Otters coming into tonight have the top 3 scorers in the league, if you count rookie Alex DeBrincat.  They will still be a good team, but there could be some growing pains.  The young players need to take the next step in their development.  Given their current record of 16-1-0-1, they probably will not keep that pace, but they’ll still be one of the best junior teams in all of Canada.

Connor McDavid - 2015 NHL Draft eligible
Connor McDavid is expected to miss 5-6 weeks and is questionable for the World Juniors. (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Let’s keep things in perspective.  He suffered an injury in which he will be back in 5-6 weeks.  This will not impact his draft value any.  This give his team an opportunity to take on a bigger responsibility.   This could mean the Otters become an even better team once he returns.  There is no need to panic over him, or over the team.  The team is ready for what challenges may arise.  You can hear what Dylan Strome said to the media below.