He wasn’t expected to return this season and yet here he is. Jason Demers will be activated from injured reserve and join the Arizona Coyotes lineup for their game tonight against the Anaheim Ducks, his first NHL action since November 15th. Demers played just 18 games for the Coyotes before suffering a knee injury that at the time was expected to keep him out for the remainder of 2018-19.
Demers, 30, was acquired by the Coyotes prior to last season and ended up averaging more than 21 minutes a night through 69 games. The right-handed veteran has long put up positive possession statistics and can contribute offensive at even-strength and on the powerplay, giving the team a versatile option on the blue line. That versatility has been obviously lacking for much of this season while the team has dealt with injury after injury.
His return comes just as Jordan Oesterle will come out of the lineup with an upper-body injury, and will give the Coyotes a boost right when they need it most. The team is on a six-game winning streak and currently sits just two points behind the Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars for the wild card spots in the Western Conference. In what has been an injury-ravaged season, the Coyotes seem to have a real chance to make the playoffs if they continue to show improvements down the stretch. Demers’ presence will be a welcome on one the ice tonight.