The Winnipeg Jets have announced that defenseman Ville Heinola has been placed on injured reserve. According to head coach Rick Bowness, Heinola suffered a fractured ankle and is expected to be out on an eight-to-twelve-week timeline.
This is a brutal development for Heinola, who will head home to Finland to be around family as he recovers. Heinola, 22, was drafted 20th overall by the Jets at the 2019 draft. He’s been pushing for an NHL job for several years now, but hasn’t been able to carve out a consistent role in Winnipeg. Winnipeg has had a deep blueline for much of his time with the organization, and as a result he’s logged quite a few games at the AHL level.
Last season, Heinola was exceptional for the Moose, scoring 37 points in just 48 games. He’s a well-regarded puck mover and offensive presence, but now his chance to finally break into the league on a full-time basis will have to wait at least a few months.
In his place, left-shot blueliners such as Dylan Samberg and Logan Stanley could be in line to receive a larger role at the NHL level, eating into some of the minutes Heinola would likely have received if healthy.