The Anaheim Ducks are nearing the return of two of the most important players in their organization, Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale. Zegras, who is dealing with an undisclosed injury, has been out of the lineup since November 10th, while Drysdale, has been out with a lower-body injury since October 19th.
There is no firm date for the eventual return of either player, but Derek Lee of The Sporting Tribune reports that both players returned for practice this morning. In the same report, Lee also mentioned that breakout center, Mason McTavish, was still absent from practice after suffering an upper-body injury last week.
Anaheim could certainly use the reinforcements on both sides of the puck, as the team has recorded only one win in the last 11 games. Aside from just returning to the lineup, the Ducks will need both players to step up their game, as Zegras has only registered two points in 12 games, while Drysdale has only been in the lineup 10 times in the last 108 regular season games.
Other injury notes:
- Without much specificity into the severity of the injury, the Colorado Avalanche have been without top-six forward, Artturi Lehkonen, for the last month after he suffered a neck injury in the team’s game against the Seattle Kraken on November 9th. After joining the team for practice yesterday, the expectation is that Lehkonen will not return for another six to eight weeks, narrowing his return to January or February (X Link). Currently sitting at fourth in the Western Conference, Colorado will only have a few weeks to see how Lehkonen returns before potentially making a move at the trade deadline on March 9th.
- Missing nearly a month to an undisclosed injury in early November, beat writer Curtis Pashelka reports that San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Benning is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury. In arguably the weakest defensive core in the NHL, Benning is one of 11 defensemen to play at least one game for San Jose this season, averaging just under 18 and a half minutes of ice time per night, placing him sixth on the team amongst defensemen in that category.
- Hoping to make his return to the NHL soon, Chris Johnston of TSN is reporting that unrestricted free agent forward, Jesse Puljujarvi, has fully recovered from his hip surgery and has been cleared for full-contact training by doctors. Even when healthy, Puljujarvi’s market is going to be extremely limited, if one develops at all. The former fourth overall pick of the 2016 NHL Draft, Puljujarvi has scored 114 points in 334 career games, including a 36-point season for the Edmonton Oilers back in the 2021-22 season.
- Aaron Portzline of The Athletic is reporting that in the Columbus Blue Jackets game tomorrow against the Florida Panthers, forwards Cole Sillinger and Patrik Laine may be making their return to the lineup. Sillinger has missed the last five games due to an upper-body injury suffered on November 29th, while Laine has been out through the last three games with an illness.