Connor McDavid will be in Saskatoon when the Edmonton Oilers take on the Minnesota Wild this September.
“He will be in Saskatoon. Will he play in the game? I can’t answer that question right now. We play the night before in Winnipeg and he will likely play in at least one of those two games. We’ll see as camp goes (on) who we are playing and how we are developing our roster,” head coach Todd McLellan told CKOM’s The Brent Loucks Show on Thursday morning.
The teams will play at SaskTel Centre on Sept. 26 as part of the 2015 NHL preseason.
“Hopefully he is in the lineup and the people in Saskatoon can enjoy his skill set,” McLellan said.
McDavid was the No. 1 pick this summer in the NHL draft. He also leads all rookies in the new “NHL 16” video game from EA Sports.
“We’re still pretty early into training camp. I’m pretty sure we aren’t going to release him or send him back to junior,” McLellan joked.
The 18-year-old had 47 goals and 76 assists in 47 games for the OHL Erie Otters last season when he was Canadian Hockey League player of the year. He had 97 goals and 285 points in 166 career regular season games (1.71 points per game) in three seasons in junior.
McLellan said coaching in Edmonton is a lot different than coaching the San Jose Sharks.
“San Jose had a passionate fan based and you were recognized when you were in the community but not to the extent or level that occurs in Edmonton or in Canada,” he explained.
McLellan said it was difficult to get any work done during his flight to Kelowna on Wednesday night because people wanted to discuss Connor and the Oilers.
“We have to accept it and be gracious and answer the questions that they ask us.”
-with files from The Canadian Press