The New Jersey Devils have already shut down Jack Hughes for the rest of the season, and now several other forwards could be sidelined. Yegor Sharangovich, Jimmy Vesey, and Nathan Bastian are all dealing with injuries, leading to the team recalling both Fabian Zetterlund and A.J. Greer from the AHL.
Sharangovich, 23, appears to be the closest to a return, despite leaving last night’s game after just five shifts. The young forward skated on his own ahead of practice and head coach Lindy Ruff believes it’s possible that he could be back in the lineup on Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens. Sharangovich engaged New York Rangers defenseman Braden Schneider after a big hit on Jesper Boqvist, and ended up leaving after just two minutes of ice time.
Vesey meanwhile is still getting imaging on his injured leg today, and there is no clear timetable for his return at this point. He also came together with Schneider and had to be helped off the ice by the training staff.
Bastian, who was injured in the same game as Hughes, is “doing better” according to Ruff, though the young forward is not expected to be available tomorrow. After starting the year barely playing with the Seattle Kraken, the return to New Jersey has been good for Bastian, who has ten goals in 50 games despite still playing a limited role.
As the Devils deal with a wave of injuries up front, players like Zetterlund will get a chance to impress. The 22-year-old third-round pick has seen three games at the NHL level so far this season but is still looking for his first point. He’s been outstanding with the Utica Comets, recording 52 points in 58 games, however, suggesting that he could be ready for more regular NHL minutes as soon as next season. A look down the stretch would make sense, especially given the fact that someone like Vesey–even if healthy–is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.