Edmonton (Canada) (AFP) - Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, the top pick in June's National Hockey League Draft, will miss "months" after surgery to repair a broken left collarbone, team general manager Peter Chiarelli said Wednesday.
McDavid suffered the injury Tuesday night with 1:44 remaining in the second period of the Oilers' 4-2 victory over visiting Philadelphia.
Chiarelli did not have a firm timetable for the return of the 18-year-old prodigy, who for years has been compared to the likes of legend Wayne Gretzky and current Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby. But he noted there would be plates and screws involved in the repairs.
"He's a strong kid, mentally and physically. He's still developing and he's going to come back stronger," Chiarelli said.
McDavid was going at full speed when he carried the puck down the left wing, fired a shot on goal, was checked, fell to the ice and slid into the end boards while being defended by Flyers' Brandon Manning and Michael Del Zotto. McDavid but did not return to the game for the final period.
The Oilers are off to a 5-8 start this season while McDavid had scored five goals and set up seven others over 13 games, claiming NHL Rookie of the Month honors for October.
"I feel bad for him," Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. "He has been playing so great, putting the work in. An unlucky play like that you just have to feel bad for him. You don't want to see anybody go in like that with a couple of guys riding him. It was definitely tough to see."
McDavid has brought enthusiasm to a club that has not qualified for the playoffs since reaching the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.
"He's a very bright-eyed kid that comes in and makes everybody's day," Chiarelli said of McDavid. "Because he's young, he's 18, a lot of the guys think of him as a little brother."