The Edmonton Oilers will start the season without one of their best penalty killers and leaders.
Forward Matt Hendricks left the Oilers’ Tuesday night win over the Anaheim Ducks in the second period with a lower-body injury. According to Oilers head coach Todd McLellan, Hendricks will miss “weeks”.
Hendricks absence, combined with Iiro Pakarinen’s serious knee injury sustained earlier this week, gives a couple of young forwards a better chance of cracking the opening night roster. Center Anton Lander, right winger Tyler Pitlick, and left winger Anton Slepyshev are battling for the 12th and 13th forward slots. Expect Lander and Pitlick to have the inside track on those jobs.
The Oilers have already suffered several injuries in training camp, with WHL-bound second-round pick Tyler Benson injuring his shoulder, Patrick Maroon and Oscar Klefbom missing short amounts of time with minor injuries, Pakarinen’s knee injury, and Brandon Davidson taking a headshot.