The season-long statistical showdown between Boston University center Jack Eichel and Erie Otters center Connor McDavid, the projected top two picks at the 2015 NHL Draft, took a bit of a hit when the latter fractured the fifth metacarpal bone in his right hand against the Mississauga Steelheads in a fight on Nov. 11.
EICHEL VS MCDAVID
|Week (1 game)
||Week (1 game)
|1 g, 1 a, 2 pts
||1 g, 1 a, 2 pts
|Season stats (8 games)
||Season stats (18 games)
|6 g, 9 a, 15 pts
||16 g, 35 a, 51 pts
McDavid is expected to be sidelined 5-6 weeks, but Otters general manager Sherry Bassin is confident McDavid will be able to represent Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Montreal and Toronto. Let's keep our fingers crossed as the McDavid-Eichel battle in the WJC would certainly add to what is sure to be an exciting world junior tournament.
The best-case scenario could have McDavid returning to the ice mid-December when the Canadian National Junior Team will be in the midst of select camp. The roster for Canada does not need to be made official until Dec. 25.
McDavid, who had scored a point in all but one game for Erie (16-3-1) this season, has 16 goals and 51 points in 18 games. He has 69 goals and 216 points in 137 career OHL games spanning three seasons. Without McDavid, the Otters lost to the Niagara IceDogs and Kitchner Rangers to close out the week.
Bassin, who considers McDavid to be one of the best players to ever lace on skates in the Ontario Hockey League, was asked if he had ever seen Eichel in action.
"I saw him once last year and he's a [heck] of a player," Bassin told NHL.com. "I've always told people that I've had a lot of players with a lot of ability who I wish had more character and I've had a lot of players with a lot of character who I wish had more ability. Put them both together and you get a star and that's what McDavid is, and I'm told Eichel has significant character too. I've seen [Eichel's] ability, and when I go to a game I go to watch players as people. [Eichel] looks to have those leadership qualities and high character.
"This is a great year to be drafting early. It's like 1 and 1A, but I really believe McDavid is by far one of the best players I've ever been around."
Eichel extended his point streak to eight game when he produced a goal and an assist in a 3-1 victory against the University of Maine on Friday. Eichel has six goals, 15 points and a plus-15 rating for the Terriers (6-1-1) this season.
Boston University will meet Maine once again on Friday at Agganis Arena in Boston at 7:30 p.m. ET.