Update: The Oilers have announced today that Ryan Nugent Hopkins will be out longer than originally projected. While initial reports indicated the injury was short term, coach Todd McLellan has now indicated that the injury could last five-to-six weeks. The injury is believed to be to Nugent-Hopkins ribs.
Coach McLellan notes that despite the initial indication, @RNH_93 will be out 5-6 weeks with an upper body injury.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) January 19, 2018
Our original article appears below.
The Edmonton Oilers have announced that they have placed centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on Injured Reserve. He is reported to have a bruised sternum and there is a chance that Nugent-Hopkins could return for the Oilers game against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.
— Edmonton Journal (@EJ_Oilers) January 18, 2018
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Injured
There is no indication of when exactly the injury occurred but there were reports that Nugent-Hopkins was experiencing some bruising after taking a big hit from Brayden McNabb in the Oilers game on January 13th against the Vegas Golden Knights.
In 46 games this season, the Burnaby, British Columbia native has 16 goals and 15 assists for 31 points with the struggling Oilers. Nugent-Hopkins has also tallied 20 penalty minutes.
His relative corsi this year is -1.1, which if it stands, would be the lowest of his career. Nugent-Hopkins PDO is also at a career low at 97.9.
The former Red Deer Rebel was taken first overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. That was the second of three straight first overall picks by the Oilers. He is the only one of the three still with the team.
Iiro Pakarinen Recalled
As a result of the injury, the Oilers have recalled Iiro Pakarinen from the Bakersfield Condors. In 18 games with Edmonton this season, the 26-year-old has just one assist to go along with four penalty minutes. In 112 career NHL games, Pakarinen has eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points. His career relative Corsi is -4.5. Last season in 14 games with the Oilers, Pakarinen started over 58% of his shifts in the defensive zone, the most in his four-year career. Pakarinen was originally selected by the Florida Panthers in the seventh round of 2011 Draft, 184th overall.
For the Edmonton Oilers, losing Nugent-Hopkins will hurt their middle 6 forwards, but this gives a chance to some players who are lower on the totem pole to step up. Pakarinen should see some quality ice time on the penalty kill. The struggling Edmonton Oilers are coming off two straight wins. However, they are still ten points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Oilers open a five-game home stand on Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks.