WINNIPEG– Nikolai Ehlers will have surgery next week to repair a sports fracture and will be out for the Winnipeg Jets indefinitely.
“Details are still being worked out,” Jets coach Rick Bowness said Saturday before Winnipeg lost 3-0 at home to the Pittsburgh Penguins. “We don’t know how long he will be out [doctors] go in there and see what they’re dealing with.”
The forward last played on October 17 when he sustained the injury in a 4-1 loss at the Dallas Stars.
Ehlers skated Wednesday for the first time since participating in morning skating before the Jets’ Oct. 19 game at the Colorado Avalanche.
Bowness said Ehlers’ injury didn’t respond in the way the Jets had hoped.
“After 7-10 days it felt like progress was being made,” he said. “It was slower going, no question, but we didn’t push it and gave it a little more time hoping to avoid that. We gave it as much time as we could, and there comes a point where, ‘Hey, there’s something more than we can find right now.'”
Ehlers has three assists in two games. He was placed on injured reserve retroactively to October 18.
“Give our forwards a lot of credit because all the guys that we’ve asked to adapt their roles, their minutes and even the guys they usually play with have all done a good job,” Bowness said. “It comes down to having to play that team defense to stay in the games that we’ve cleaned up a lot in the last 10 games.”
The Jets are also without a striker Mason Appleton and Morgan Baron. Appleton underwent surgery this week to repair a wrist injury and is expected to be out for 2-3 months. Most recently, he played against the Seattle Kraken on Sunday. Barron, who has been out since October 30th, has also had wrist surgery and is expected to be out for 4-5 weeks.
“The guys who stepped up and played those roles did an exceptional job,” Bowness said. “We need that. You’re in the top nine [forwards], they are not easy to replace. Do we miss her? Absolutely, we miss her. It changes all the formations of the lines and it changes the reels. And sometimes when that happens, you put a guy in a role that he wouldn’t normally play.”
defender Dylan DeMelo and LoganStanley are also on the road for the jets. DeMelo missed a second straight game with an upper-body injury, but Bowness said he could play the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.
“It’s not long-term,” Bowness said of DeMelo. “We hope to have him back. He went ice skating [Saturday], but not ready to go. We hope to have him back for Monday night.”
Stanley was placed on injured reserve retroactively to October 25 with a foot injury and missed his 10th straight game.