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BLOG: Evaluating McDavid’s first nine games

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

With rookies, there’s a decision to be made at the nine-game mark, whether or not to send them to the minors or keep them in the NHL. With Connor McDavid, there’s no conversation and no decision to be made.

The 2015 first-overall pick has earned the right to stay in the NHL and isn’t going anywhere.

“It’s made,” Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan joked about the team’s decision regarding McDavid and the nine-game window. “We can clarify that. It’s made.”

McDavid, in his nine games, has nine points. He has scored five goals and added four assists. The rookie is riding a five game point streak and has points in six of his last seven games. McLellan talked about McDavid’s first nine NHL games, following the team’s 3-2 loss to Los Angeles.

“The young man has experienced a lot already in his career,” said McLellan. “If you look at it in a nine-game perspective, you start on the road in some tough buildings, the team plays well enough to be in games but doesn’t win. He feels a lot of pressure on himself because he hasn’t scored. Finally, he gets one and gives himself permission, I believe, to really get going. He’s been a dynamic player ever since. He’s dangerous every time he’s on the ice. I think he’s getting much wiser to the pace and what he can and can’t get away with. It’s fun to watch him. He energizes a lot of our players right now.”

McDavid assisted on the Oilers first goal against LA and nearly potted the game winner with 3.8 seconds left. McDavid is tied for the lead in rookie scoring with Arizona’s Max Domi (3-6-9 in eight games).

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