Ehlers suffered an MCL sprain and is listed as week to week. Tough loss for the Jets. https://t.co/1ZrTRFaDwI
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 21, 2022
The Nikolaj Ehlers Injury Weakens Jets Fire-Power Offence
Ehlers absence will be a major loss for the mediocre Jets. The team needs the loaded offence to score more than ever. The injury was sustained during the game against the Washington Capitals on January 18. It came from a collision with defenceman Dmitry Orlov, who received a two-game suspension on January 19.
The player was selected 9th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Ever since joining the roster in the 2015-16 season, Ehlers has recorded five straight 20+ goal seasons. Additionally, he is coming off the best season of his career. In the shortened 2020-21 season, the Denmark native posted 21 goals and 46 points in 47 games played.
Ehlers also helped carry the Jets to a 4-0 series sweep against the Edmonton Oilers during last year’s playoffs. In that series, he recorded a huge overtime winner on game three, to complete the Jets come-back. This season, the Jets hold a record of 17-13-6 with 40 points and a .556 winning percentage. Winnipeg sits four points back of the second wild-card position in the West, with five games in hand on the San Jose Sharks.
Ehlers teammate, Andrew Copp spoke a few words in a post-game conference about the injury. He stated, “He’s a really big part of who we are, and the speed we try to play with. We’re going to miss a really dynamic player.”
What This Means For The Future
Despite the tough loss, the Jets will need to find a way to maintain momentum on their power-play. Copp will step in the role of Ehlers on the first power-play unit. Jets rookie and 2020 10th overall pick, Cole Perfetti, will slot into the top-six right-wing. Perfetti is a speedy forward with great playmaking ability, and he just notched his first career goal on January 18th, against the Washington Capitals.
Veteran Paul Stastny and former high draft-pick Kristian Vesalainen are also options to play right-wing for the Jets. Stastny is a great utility player for the team, recording 8 goals and 16 points in 25 games so far this season. The 36-year-old still has some juice left in the tank.
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