EDMONTON, Alberta — Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid was cleared for practice and didn’t require a non-contact jersey as the team hit the ice Friday for the first time in training camp.
”I feel good,” McDavid said after playing on a line with Leon Draisaitl and Zack Kassian. ”It was a complicated summer. Lots of stuff going on. Lots of different opinions. There was a time when (getting on the ice for camp) was definitely in doubt, but as of right now it’s good.”
McDavid, the second-leading scorer in the NHL last year (116 points), partially tore a left knee ligament five months ago in the last game of the regular season when he rammed into a goalpost against Calgary. He didn’t require surgery, but has been working to heal the knee all summer.
McDavid and Draisaitl will be expected to carry the offensive load for the Oilers again this season. Draisaitl scored 50 goals and added 55 assists last year to finish fourth overall in the NHL. Kassian scored a career-high 15 goals.
He said McDavid didn’t show any rust or wear and tear.
”The way he was competing the way he was working, he’s ready to rock by the looks of it,” Kassian said.
Coach Dave Tippett said the plan is to take it slow with McDavid to make sure he is ready for the season opener Oct. 2. He may not see as much action in the preseason.