The Winnipeg Jets will be without electrifying forward Nikolaj Ehlers for the foreseeable future.
On Monday morning, the Jets were dealt a heavy blow as head coach Paul Maurice made the announcement that the team’s speedy winger would be out for at least the rest of the regular season with a shoulder injury.
“We’re confident and hopeful he’ll be back for the start of the playoffs,” Maurice said. “Nikky’s been fantastic this year. So we’re going to miss that, and not just the goal scoring. He’s been pretty darn dynamic for our team.”
Although unable to specify what exactly caused the shoulder separation, a heavy collision with Leafs’ defenceman Jake Muzzin was likely the culprit.
Ehlers went to the locker room after this collision with Muzzin pic.twitter.com/OvWNdAq6yt
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 25, 2021
“I don’t know that I can nail it to one hit,” Maurice said in speaking on Ehlers’ perseverance following the collision. “He finished the game. He’s a tough young man.”
Ehlers’ goal scoring, speed and zone entries will be missed by Winnipeg, as his fellow running mates will be called upon to pick up the slack. Currently owning a stat-line of 21 goals and 25 assists for 26 points in 46 games, the 25-year-old was on pace to nearly match his point scoring record set in 2016-17 (25 goals, 64 points) prior to the setback.
The Jets will now be without both Ehlers and Adam Lowry for the next stretch of games as the club battles the Edmonton Oilers on both Monday and Wednesday evenings, before heading out on the final road trip of the season on Friday. Mason Appleton, Jansen Harkins and Kristian Vesalainen will likely be thrown into larger roles moving forward. Puck drop for both home games this week is set for 8:00 PM central.