The Winnipeg Jets have quickly moved Nate Schmidt to injured reserve after he suffered an upper-body injury last night. After the game, head coach Rick Bowness confirmed to Murat Ates of The Athletic that Schmidt had been placed in the concussion protocol. In his place, the team has recalled Ville Heinola under emergency conditions.
Schmidt took a huge hit from Tanner Jeannot and stayed down, while the Nashville Predators forward did not receive a penalty on the play. With him exiting after just 5:30, the Jets leaned heavily on the trio of Josh Morrissey, Neal Pionk, and Brenden Dillon, with the latter even getting some unexpected powerplay time. Morrissey played more than 27 minutes in the overtime win.
It’s a good opportunity for Heinola, even if it does through an injury. The 21-year-old defenseman has been something of a squeaky wheel this season, with his agent publicly acknowledging frustration about how the Jets have used him. The 20th overall pick from 2019 can’t seem to secure any consistent NHL playing time, and has just 27 appearances over parts of four seasons.
Schmidt, meanwhile, had played in 29 games this season, averaging just over 20 minutes a night before exiting last night early.