Winnipeg Jets head coach Rick Bowness told reporters this morning that forward Cole Perfetti is expected to miss at least eight weeks due to an upper-body injury.
The young forward, who was drafted by the Jets 10th overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, has had a strong rookie campaign, registering eight goals and 30 points in 51 games played. Bowness stressed that Perfetti’s injury isn’t related to the upper-body injury that cost him the last few months of last season. The news of his absence is significant for the Jets down the stretch, as Perfetti is developing into a core part of the team’s top-six forward group.
Perfetti was placed on injured reserve Tuesday and has missed the team’s last two games.
The eight-week timeline lines up nicely for Perfetti to return during the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs if his recovery doesn’t extend past what’s anticipated. The Jets are second in the Central Division but have lost six out of their last 10 games.
Perfetti’s injury won’t impact Winnipeg’s salary cap landscape much, considering he’s still on his sub-$1MM entry-level deal, but it does exacerbate the need for the Jets to upgrade at the forward position with months left to go in the season. They have been linked in recent weeks as an outside team to land San Jose Sharks forward Timo Meier, and other depth targets like James van Riemsdyk and Ivan Barbashev could be an option to replace Perfetti’s top-six role at the deadline.