Laine returned to practice on Friday and participated in a full team practice on Sunday.
He will miss his eighth straight game Monday when the Jets host the Anaheim Ducks. Winnipeg is 3-3-1 in his absence.
“He feels really good, so he’s been banging on the door a little bit here,” Head coach Paul Maurice told reporters, “He’s feeling strong, feeling ready. If we weren’t playing San Jose tomorrow, if it wasn’t back-to-back, we would have considered him for this game.”
The Rookie Effect
Patrik Laine has been a stand-out all season for the Jets. He is fourth overall on the team with 37 points. He is tied with Mark Scheifele for the team lead in goals at 21. Let’s not forget the kid is only 18 years old.
The 18-year old Finnish sniper has made his mark in the NHL just 42 games in. He has adapted to the North American style of play and has excelled offensively. He scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game, and notched his first career hat trick in his fourth.
Laine lead all rookies in goals and points before getting injured. Since then Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews has re-claimed the lead with 22 goals and 38 points. The two are front-runners for the NHL’s Calder trophy for most outstanding rookie.
Also, Laine will be the Jets only representative at the NHL All-Star game this weekend in Los Angeles. Since the Jets re-located from Atlanta in 2011 only defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has represented the team at the event. It appears as though Laine will be healthy enough to attend.