McDavid took a puck to his right hand, the same one he broke in November, and was held scoreless Wednesday night in the Erie Otters' 3-0 victory over the Niagara IceDogs.
After icing his hand on the bench and not missing a shift, McDavid practised Thursday and described it as "a little sore, but all right." Coach Kris Knoblauch said McDavid looked to be showing no ill effects on the ice.
That's good news for whichever NHL team wins the lottery for the chance to pick McDavid first in June's draft, and for the Otters with the start of the playoffs two weeks away.
"Yeah I get nervous," Knoblauch said Thursday afternoon at Erie Insurance Arena. "We don't want anyone going down to injury because we're playing pretty well right now and we're starting to get some momentum. There's not much time to heal from an injury heading into the playoffs."
McDavid missed more than a month earlier this season with a fractured metacarpal bone in his right hand. Even after that absence and two weeks away helping Canada win the gold medal at the world junior championship, the Newmarket, Ont., native is third in the league in scoring with 109 points on 40 goals and 69 assists.
The 27-game point streak that ended Wednesday was the longest in the OHL since John Tavares did the same in 2007-08. During his run, McDavid had 26 goals and 32 assists but downplayed it as an individual achievement.
"I was playing pretty well, and I felt pretty good and all that," McDavid said. "When stuff's going well for you, the puck seems to find its way in."
McDavid is just 14 points back of league-leading scorer Mitchell Marner of the London Knights despite playing 16 fewer games. Still, McDavid thinks his game is just "all right" with the playoffs approaching.
But it's McDavid's scoring consistency that defies words. He has at least a point in 41 of 43 games this year, held off the board by the IceDogs twice.
"You have to be an exceptional player to put up points every game," Knoblauch said. "There are nights where teams are just going to clamp down on you and they don't want you to have the puck and play good defensively. The goalie can stand on their head. But for all the games that he's played and not get a point in two of them, you have to be good every night."
McDavid's status as the projected top pick in the upcoming NHL draft was set well before this run. But this season has showcased the next level in his progression.
According to former NHL winger Gary Roberts, who trains McDavid in the off-season, the most noticeable difference this year is how much the 18-year-old has been able to create space on the ice.
"Most of us slow down when we get the puck, and this guy you see players trying to angle him and they think they got him and then he just comes out of a turn faster than he went into it and separates himself from the player that's chasing him down," Roberts said in a phone interview Wednesday. "It's incredible to watch."
Goaltender Devin Williams, whose advice to NHL counterparts is to "close your eyes and hope for the best," marvels at McDavid.
"He's something else," Williams said. "I think he just has fun with the game. I don't think he over-analyzes things, takes things too serious. Obviously he's really gifted and he has a different feel for the game than other people. He just has fun with it."
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