The Anaheim Ducks announced that centre Ryan Kesler will return tonight against the Vegas Golden Knights. This is welcome news after Kesler has missed the first thirty-seven games of this season due to a hip injury from the end of last season.
Guess who's back,
Kes is back,
Tell a friend!
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) December 28, 2017
Ryan Kesler Returns From Injury.
Last season, Kesler scored 22 goals and 36 assists for 58 points. He also added 83 minutes in penalties. His possession numbers were 50.9 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of +2.0.
Over his ten-year NHL career, Kesler played for the Vancouver Canucks and for the last three seasons with Anaheim Ducks. He has put up an impressive, 249 goals and 306 assists for 551 career points in 897 career games. He was originally drafted in the first round, 23rd overall of the 2003 NHL draft by the Vancouver Canucks.
Kesler stated in a pre-game interview:
“The work is not done for me yet… there has been a lot of challenges, being on crutches for 14 weeks was one of them. Learning how to walk again was another. Just skating, getting my stride back. I feel better out there now than I did five years ago”
What Does This Mean For The Ducks?
His return will be a boost for Anaheim, who has been plagued with injuries since early on in this season. They are still missing some key players such as Corey Perry, who was the top scorer for The Ducks before going out with a lower-body injury. Along with Patrick Eaves, who might not play this season as he battles Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
With fellow centre Ryan Getzlaf, who is in top form since returning, they can rival any centre collection in the league. They will also need the physicality of both of them to beat the Golden Knights tonight.
The Ducks currently cling to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. A healthy team will help them maintain that status in the second half of the season.
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