Toronto Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman is out for at least two weeks after spraining his MCL against the Vancouver Canucks. Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe informed the press of Hyman’s injury status during his media availability on Monday.
TOR head coach Sheldon Keefe says Zach Hyman has a sprained MCL. Out at least two weeks. Probably as good news as they could get.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 19, 2021
Zach Hyman Injury Sidelines Him For At Least Two Weeks
Hyman sustained the injury in the second period of Toronto’s most recent game against the Vancouver Canucks.
The sequence began when Hyman stole the puck off Antoine Roussel at centre ice. Skating past the benches, the winger then attempted to deke it around Alexander Edler in order to gain the zone. Although as Hyman swerved to avoid the defenceman, Edler stuck out a trailing leg that collided with his knee, causing the Leafs forward to collapse to the ice in severe pain.
Zach Hyman is down
Knee-on-knee with Edler
Oh man… pic.twitter.com/sOZPPKd2nR
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 19, 2021
Edler received a major penalty and game misconduct for the hit, while Hyman left the game and did not return.
At the time of the incident, the Leafs were 1-0 up. They later extended their lead during the resulting five-minute powerplay, before the Canucks rallied back to win 3-2 in overtime; it was Vancouver’s first game in 25 days after the team went on hiatus, following a mass COVID outbreak.
What This Means Going Forward
If Zach Hyman’s injury keeps him out for longer than forecast, it would have massive repercussions for the Leafs. The 6’1″, 209-pound winger is a physical competitor, a vital cog in the penalty-killing unit and most importantly, a regular point-contributor. So far this season, Hyman has 15 goals and 33 points. He is also second on the team in hits (69) behind only Jake Muzzin (78).
What’s particularly worrying is Hyman has already done considerable damage to his right knee previously. In 2019, he had surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament after he fell awkwardly during the Leafs First Round matchup with the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In his absence, Sheldon Keefe will likely slot newcomer Nick Foligno onto the first line and move Alex Galchenyuk into the vacant space on the third line. Foligno was acquired by the Leafs in a blockbuster trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets at the deadline. His mandatory seven-day quarantine is due to end on Monday.