The Ottawa Senators have lost defenceman Erik Brannstrom for at least the next week as the young defender is injured. This is sad news as Brannstrom was expected to give Ottawa quality minutes and fight for more consistent playing time. This comes as a result of an aggressive check from Josh Archibald of the Edmonton Oilers that sent Brannstrom into the boards. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun announced the injury Tuesday morning.
Brannstrom out because of injury. Out for seven to 10 days. Wolanin will play. #Sens
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) February 9, 2021
Senators Erik Brannstrom Injured
Brannstrom had not made a significant impact to this point in the 2020-21 season. He had appeared in just three games with one assist, three hits and one block. His possession numbers were also looking rough with a bad 42.3 percent Corsi For and -8.2 relative Corsi. However, Brannstrom is still just 21-years-old and three games is not nearly enough time to draw serious conclusions about performance. He did play in 31 games last year with four assists and a 48.8 Corsi For, but there really isn’t a large enough sample on the young Swede to say what he is truly capable of doing.
The Sens originally drafted the 5’10”, 179-pound defender in the first round of the 2017 Draft. Most of his professional hockey in North America has come at the AHL level since that selection. Brannstrom has 10 goals and 55 points in 77 games at the lower level. He also had a strong start to this year overseas in Switzerland with two goals and eight points in 10 games for the National League’s program in Langnau. Despite his struggles, Brannstrom remains a solid prospect given his excellent skating reports and ability to help make plays.
How Ottawa Replaces Brannstrom
The team will activate defender Christian Wolanin for the moment. The 25-year-old had been on the injured reserve list but is healthy at just the right time. He does not have Brannstrom’s offensive potential, but the 6’2″ Quebec native is a big defender who will help Ottawa build upon three recent competitive games.