On Wednesday, Winnipeg Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers officially underwent his scheduled surgical procedure on a sports hernia injury in Detroit, MI.
“I haven’t talked to the staff, about exactly what they found, what they’re dealing with,” head coach Rick Bowness told reporters on Wednesday. “But clearly it’s eight weeks, in that area. Does that mean it’s seven to 10? I don’t know. That gives us some time to work with.”
For now, Ehlers will remain on the injured reserve, alongside his former replacement Mason Appleton – who is out eight-to-twelve weeks with a wrist injury suffered last week in Seattle. The team will look to continue rolling with its conglomeration of fill-in talent in both the top and bottom-six forward groupings.
Morgan Barron (wrist surgery) and Dylan DeMelo (upper-body injury) both skated for Winnipeg on Wednesday prior to the team’s shellacking at the hands of the Minnesota Wild. Both wore non-contact sweaters so still have a ways to go before their expected returns to the lineup.
“He’s feeling very good, so we would not rule him out for Friday,” Bowness said of DeMelo. “But again we’re going to give him a little harder workout today so we’ll see how he responds.”
For DeMelo, it’s now been four-straight games that he’s missed with his minor injury, allowing offseason signing Kyle Capobianco and draft pick Ville Heinola to take turns slotting in on the back-end in his absence. With Logan Stanley still out with a broken foot, Dylan Samberg has elevated his game and has served as a regular for the Jets over the past seven games.
Youngster Mikey Eyssimont has filled in nicely since his recall from the Manitoba Moose, while veteran Sam Gagner has also seen an increased role in Ehlers/Appleton’s absence. Jansen Harkins has re-joined his Jets mates, while David Gustafsson remains a strong option in the team’s bottom-six.
The Jets next travel to Dallas for the second of three-straight road games on Friday, with a Sunday contest in Chicago wrapping up the trek. Both games can be viewed live on TSN.