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McDavid won't play for Oilers in Young Stars finale

by Aaron Vickers

PENTICTON, British Columbia -- Connor McDavid will not play in the Edmonton Oilers' finale against the Winnipeg Jets at the Young Stars tournament on Monday.

"Relatively early on I made that decision," Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli told reporters after Edmonton's practice Sunday. "He's going to play a lot of hockey, and it gives us a chance to see some of the other players in these two games.

"He wasn't very happy, but I said 'hey, you're going to play a lot of hockey for us.'"

McDavid, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, played the tournament opener, scoring a goal and contributing an assist in Edmonton's 8-2 victory against prospects from the Vancouver Canucks. He was a healthy scratch Saturday against the Calgary Flames.

"You're a hockey player. You want to play whenever you get a chance," McDavid said. "At the end of the day it's not my decision. It's their choice. That's that."

The Oilers' rookies will play the University of Alberta Golden Bears in an exhibition on Wednesday, and the team said McDavid will be in the lineup. The game has been moved to Rexall Place, home of the Oilers, to accommodate ticket demand. The previous 24 games in the series were played at Clare Drake Arena, the university's 2,700-seat rink.

"It's going to be exciting," McDavid said. "It's going to be a pretty packed house. I know both teams are going to be excited about it. It's going to be a good game."

Last year, Edmonton beat the defending Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) champions 4-2. The Golden Bears have won a national championship and a game against the Oilers in the same season six times and lead the overall series 13-11.

"I actually looked at their record," McDavid said. "They might have a better record than the Oilers rookies. They won the national championship last year. It'll be a good game."

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