12:05 pm: Head coach Rick Bowness has confirmed wrist surgery for Appleton, and said he is expected to miss eight to 12 weeks.
10:40 am: Winnipeg Jets forward Mason Appleton was forced out of Sunday’s game against the Seattle Kraken early, and it sounds like he’s going to miss quite a while. Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun reports that Appleton will miss at least eight weeks with an upper-body injury that requires surgery.
Appleton, 26, has six points in 14 games and has actually seen time on the team’s first line this season, averaging more than 16 minutes a night. After losing him to Seattle for the first part of last season through the expansion draft, Winnipeg sent a fourth-round pick to get him back at the trade deadline. A versatile forward that can move up and down the lineup, he has ten points in 33 games since returning.
Now, with Appleton out for two months, the Jets would normally be in a bit of a pickle. Luckily, they had Nikolaj Ehlers back on the ice today, albeit in a solo session while donning a non-contact jersey. Ehlers’ return date is still unclear but when he does come back, he’ll be able to slot directly into the top six to give the team a bit more scoring punch.
The Jets still won that game against the Kraken, and now sit second in the Central Division with the best winning percentage in the group. Having only allowed 33 goals through 14 games, even a slight uptick in scoring would have them playing at an incredibly high level.