Arizona Coyotes Nick Schmaltz Out With Upper-Body Injury

Nick Schmaltz injury
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Head coach of the Arizona Coyotes, Andre Tourigny, announced today that forward Nick Schmaltz will miss a minimum of three to four weeks with an upper-body injury.

Schmaltz Sidelined for at Least Three to Four Weeks

Following a three-game absence, Schmaltz has been given a three-to-four-week timeline for his injury. He is expected to return in late November.

Schmaltz was drafted back in 2014 (20th overall) by the Chicago Blackhawks. The then 20-year-old began his NHL career in 2017. In his rookie campaign, he totalled 28 points in 61 games with the Blackhawks.

Schmaltz was traded to the Coyotes back in the 2019 season. He has since been a consistent producer tallying 92 points in 145 games played with the Coyotes.

Youngster Barrett Hayton is expected to see an elevated role in Schmaltz’s absence.

What This Means for the Coyotes

It can’t get much worse for the Coyotes, but losing Schmaltz for roughly a month will certainly not help them get on track. They hold a league-worst 0-8-1 record and are the only NHL team to not register a win yet this season. To make matters even worse, the Coyotes have been decimated with injuries early on, Forward Ryan Dzingel is also out for an extended period of time.

Schmaltz had already missed three games prior to this announcement and prior to that had started the season rather slow with just one point in six games. Still, Schmaltz was a heavy producer for this team last season, finishing seventh on the squad in total points. His extended absence will certainly be noticeable.

Hayton was just recently called up from the AHL. He will have a big opportunity to prove himself during Schamaltz’s time off. The fifth overall pick in the 2018 draft has already seen first-line time this year. He’s undoubtedly one of the future building blocks for this franchise and it’ll be intriguing to see him in a featured role for an extended period of time.

Besides Hayton, increased output from veteran Phil Kessel and emerging-star Lawson Crouse will be necessary during Schmaltz’s absence if the Coyotes plan to get their season to a competitive level anytime soon.

Main photo: Embed from Getty Images