Edmonton rookie Connor McDavid could be back in the Oilers lineup in their first game back from the all-star break, as he’s officially been cleared for full contact.
For the duration of the all-star break, McDavid, 19, will head to the AHL and join the Bakersfield Condors. McDavid won’t be taking part in any games, though, and be spending his entire break practicing with the Condors to get back into game shape.
“Management and I kind of came together and agreed that I’ll go to Bakersfield and go down there and skate and keep practicing. It’s a long break between now and then,” McDavid told EdmontonOilers.com’s Chris Westcott.
McDavid said the practices in Bakersfield will give him the opportunity to get into battle drills and take part in some higher intensity practices. Though he’s been out since Nov. 3 due to a broken clavicle, McDavid said the past few weeks of his recovery have felt the longest because he’s felt good enough to get back into action.
“It will be good to be involved in that and hopefully come back feeling good and ready to go for the (Feb. 2),” McDavid said. “Obviously, with this long break, it’s not ideal to go and sit around for eight days and try to come back and feel good. I think it’s a good opportunity for me to feel good and be ready to go when I come back.”
McDavid did have the opportunity to get back on the ice during the Oilers’ skills competition Sunday afternoon. McDavid admitted the skills competition was a bit of a “tease.”
“It was dressed up like a game, the fans were there, everyone is acting like it’s a game, so it was almost like a tease,” McDavid said. “It’s exciting to be back on the ice with the guys and the fans, and I’m excited about it.”
The Oilers first game after the all-star break comes Feb. 2 at home against the Blue Jackets. Before falling injured, McDavid had five goals and 12 points in 13 games while averaging 18 minutes per game.