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Oilers' McDavid 'working hard, smiling,' McLellan says

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers rookie center Connor McDavid continues to skate as he recovers from a fractured clavicle, but there is no timeline regarding his return to the lineup.

McDavid was on the ice Thursday prior to the Oilers participating in an optional morning skate for their game against the Anaheim Ducks (9 p.m. ET; KCOP-13, SNW).

McDavid, 18, skated along with Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, who is recovering from an ankle sprain.

McDavid has been skating on his own for over two weeks. The No. 1 selection in the 2015 NHL Draft sustained the injury crashing into the end boards Nov. 3, against the Philadelphia Flyers.

"There's nothing that I can share with you," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said when questioned on a possible return date for McDavid. "He's working hard and smiling most days and that's a real positive thing."

McDavid had five goals and seven assists in 13 games for Edmonton prior to the injury. Shortly after sustaining the injury, Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said McDavid would be out for months.

"We miss him, there is no doubt about it," McLellan said. "It's exciting to see him back in the locker room, skating and getting ready to play again. But it's hard to talk about an 18-year-old that has played 12, 13 games and justify missing him that much. But he was that dynamic and provides that much speed. He makes your power play better and he's a point-a-game guy. When you lose that, it affects anybody's team."

Edmonton was 5-8-0 with McDavid in the lineup and is 10-12-3 without him going into the game against Anaheim.

"His spirit that he brought to the team, the energy that he brought around, we miss," McLellan said. "Hopefully, he continues on the path that he's on right now and he gets back soon."

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