Connor McDavid back in practice after COVID layoff

The NHL is a league that is increasingly built on star power, and few stars are more exciting than Connor McDavid. The Centre has enjoyed a fine career so far, and his tenure with the Edmonton Oilers is one that could really lead to lasting success in the future. However, the star has been out with COVID-related complications for some time, but is now back in the scene with his first practice out of the way after finally exiting the NHL COVID-19 protocols.

He is expected to take part in the Ottawa Senators game which is scheduled for Saturday. The captain entered protocols on the 5th January and is now back out there training and getting ready for the matches to come. He was unable to play on the 5th January match-up, where the Oilers went down 4-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

McDavid noted that he simply was “a little achy and just a stuffy nose”, so it looks like the player was able to come through his COVID ordeal relatively unscathed. With 53 points in just 33 games, though, McDavid will be keen to make up for lost time and make sure he beats teammate Leon Draisaitl to the top scorers title. McDavid has 19 goals and 34 assists, while fellow center Draisaitl has 26 goals and 27 assists in 34 games.

The game with the Oilers was supposed to take place on Monday, but was rescheduled for the Saturday due to the Oilers having so many playing and coaching staff in the protocols. Speaking about how he is feeling at present, McDavid said: "I actually liked it, I thought the practice was good. We got up and down the ice and battled against each other, which I thought was good and something that's necessary when we're only going to play one game in 15 days.

“These practices are big for us, we have to go hard at each other, we have to play each other as close to gamelike as we can, and get ourselves prepared and ready to go."

McDavid notes ‘mental break’ after COVID issues

McDavid also was quick to note that he could feel a slight change in his own demeanour now that his short-term future looks solved. McDavid noted that it was easier to get on with things now that he has gone through the ordeal of having the virus itself, saying: "Honestly, you're not looking to get COVID, but it's almost a mental break when you come out of the protocol, because you don't have to test any more. It's exhausting to sit and wait to hear on your test results from the night before and you're trying to get ready for the game but you don't know if you're going to play.

"So it's been crazy times, and I think our doctors and our medical team have done such a good job of handling it. I know it's stressful for them more than anybody, but they've done an amazing job and we're trying to get through this and trying to get back to a little normality hopefully in the next little while."

For the Oilers, having their star player back on the ice can only go a long way to making sure they can live up to their lofty ambitions built on the back of their star-scoring Centre duo. 

19.01.2022 < Back