The Ottawa Senators could be without Jean-Gabriel Pageau for a brief period of time. The 27-year-old centre has been ruled out of Thursday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights with an upper-body injury. The team announced the news late Thursday evening.
#Sens forward @JGPageau will miss tonight’s game vs @GoldenKnights due to an upper injury. Rudolfs Balcers will dress in his place.
— Sens Communications (@Media_Sens) January 17, 2020
Jean-Gabriel Pageau out with Upper-Body Injury
Pageau has been a revelation for a gritty Sens squad in 2019-20. He has 19 goals and 31 points in 46 points while shooting a blistering 18.4 percent. The 19 goals are already a career-high with almost half the season remaining. Ottawa is not especially competitive this year but Pageau has been a bright spot. He should be able to set a new career-best for points if this injury does not keep him out for too long.
Pageau has additional value beyond the points. The former fourth-round selection has 89 hits and blocks this season, which demonstrates solid two-way value. He is producing across the board to such a degree that he will be one of the hottest names debated as the February trade deadline approaches. Several teams could use his skills even if he will only play on the middle-six and not the top line as he is doing now.
What This Means for the Future
We do not know the extent of this injury so it is hard to say how long Pageau will be absent. The team has activated Rudolfs Balcers in his place for tonight’s game. The former fifth-round pick by the San Jose Sharks has not gotten much playing time but is still just 22-years-old. He has five goals and 15 points in 42 games spread across two seasons.
The team could also choose to recall someone from the AHL squad. The injury could impact Pageau’s trade value but we could learn more in the next few days while he rests. The team doesn’t really need Pageau as they attempt to win as little as possible. Ottawa would have the third-best odds of the top pick in the 2020 draft if the season ended tonight.