Buffalo center Jack Eichel is making progress as he continues to recover from a high ankle sprain sustained in practice suffered four weeks ago, writes NHL.com’s Joe Yerdon. The original timetable for the injury was six to eight weeks.
Eichel was expected to meet with team doctors today to see if he can escalate his workouts but head coach Dan Bylsma didn’t want to put a timeline onto when he could possibly begin on-ice drills:
“I don’t want to suggest that it’s going to be today, tomorrow or the next day that he’s getting on the ice. He’s progressing quite nicely. He’s been working out at another level the last four or five days and hopefully he continues to progress to getting to the ice soon.”
Eichel has yet to play this season after a strong rookie campaign that saw him record 24 goals and 32 assists in 81 games to finish second on the team in scoring. Once he does return to the lineup, he’ll undoubtedly be a big boost to a Buffalo lineup that sits 28th in the league in goals scored per game.
[Related: Sabres Depth Chart]
Elsewhere around the league:
- Wild center Erik Haula skated with the team today for the first time since October 20th, notes Dan Myers of the team’s official site. Head coach Bruce Boudreau said Haula, who has been dealing with a foot issue, would be a game time decision for their game against Pittsburgh on Thursday. He skated on a line with Jason Zucker and Zack Mitchell, who is expected to make his NHL debut against the Penguins.
- The Ducks announced that they have recalled center Michael Sgarbossa from their AHL affiliate in San Diego. This marks the third time already that this season that the 24 year old has been brought up. Sgarbossa has two assists in six games with Anaheim so far this season.
- Chicago center/left winger Andrew Desjardins is set to return to the lineup tonight after missing the first 13 games of the season with a foot injury sustained at the end of the preseason, notes CSN Chicago’s Tracey Myers. While he hasn’t been much of a point producer (he had 13 points in 77 games last year), he logged the most minutes shorthanded of any Blackhawks forward in 2015-16. Chicago has the worst penalty kill in the league heading into tonight’s game at 65.2% so Desjardins should be a big boost to the team in that area.