The Winnipeg Jets appear to be without forward Patrik Laine for the foreseeable future, as the 21-year-old winger went down early in the first period after blocking a shot on the inside of his left foot.
Just 1:21 into the opening frame on a defensive zone face-off loss, Laine got in the lane and blocked a Michal Kempny slap shot from the point, which instantly crumpled the fourth-year pro. Laine did eventually get back up and attempted to block another long-range shot, before slowly making his way to the bench and ultimately hobbling down the tunnel to the Jets’ dressing room, before the team announced that he would not return for the night.
Jets head coach Paul Maurice provided a small update postgame, indicating that Laine did undergo some extensive testing, but official results have not yet been confirmed.
“He’s going to come with us (on the road trip to Edmonton, Saturday), and then we’ll see (how he is),” Maurice said. “So nothing on any of the tests. He just took a shot, and want to see how he’s feeling tomorrow. He couldn’t return. But they ran a couple of tests. Good news, there wasn’t anything broken.”
Heading into Thursday’s game against Washington – in which the Jets won by a score of 3-0 – Laine had 26 goals and 59 points in 63 games, operating at just under a point-per-game pace. With 16 games to go on Winnipeg’s 2019-20 schedule, the dangerous sniper has already surpassed his 2018-19 season total of 59 points, but his goal count is down from the 30 he scored last year.
Friday’s optional Jets practice did not see Laine serve as a participant, while injured forwards Mathieu Perreault and Adam Lowry, alongside defenceman Josh Morrissey all skated in yellow non-contact gear.
Players currently listed as injured for Winnipeg include:
Patrik Laine, Mathieu Perreault, Adam Lowry, Josh Morrissey, Bryan Little, Mark Letestu, Sami Niku, Carl Dahlstrom and Luca Sbisa. Dustin Byfuglien also remains away from the team.
Following the skate, the Jets announced that forward CJ Suess of their American Hockey League affiliate Manitoba Moose has been recalled from the farm club and will travel with the team to Edmonton for Saturday’s late game against the Oilers.
Suess, 25, has previously skated with the Jets during the 2018-19 season, suiting up for one game in early November, before dressing in 26 games with the moose last year. In 54 games for Manitoba this season, Suess has put up 13 goals and 26 points, to go alongside 28 penalty minutes. He will likely serve as a scratch in Edmonton, unless another pre-game warmup activity sends yet another Jets forward to the injured reserve.
Shortly after the Suess recall, the Moose announced that the team had dealt forward Alexis D’Aoust to the Charlotte Checkers in exchange for future considerations. D’Aoust, 23, has skated in 40 games this season, split between Manitoba and Jacksonville of the ECHL, where he has a combined 13 goals and 27 points. The AHL trade deadline is Monday, March 2.