There is certainly no reason to believe the hand injury sustained by Erie Otters center Connor McDavid on Tuesday is career threatening. The fractured fifth metacarpal in his right hand will sideline him 5-6 weeks before he can continue his offensive wizardry in the Ontario Hockey League.
But will his absence affect his standing in the 2015 NHL Draft? Before the injury, McDavid was considered the slight favorite in a two-player race to be the top-rated prospect in the draft. Boston University freshman Jack Eichel is the other player in that race. Boston College freshman defenseman Noah Hanafin is on the periphery of that conversation, according to several scouts.
"Injuries are part of the game and we've made it a point, as you recall three years ago when there were so many players out, of adapting here at NHL Central Scouting," NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr told NHL.com on Wednesday before the Otters announced the prognosis. "We've got a lot of views on Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel and Noah Hanifin, and are very comfortable with ranking them where they are.
"Hopefully in Connor's case, it's nothing serious and he'll be back playing and be able to participate with Erie because they look like they've got a team set for a long run."