Hajek has a separated shoulder. No timetable.
— Rick Carpiniello (@RickCarpiniello) March 10, 2019
Libor Hajek Injured
It was a bittersweet moment for the Czech rookie, who scored his first NHL goal during the third period against the New Jersey Devils. However, he left a few minutes after taking a hit into the boards from behind and did not return. The Rangers broke a six-game winless drought with a 4-2 win.
Hajek’s rookie season may have stalled before it even begun thanks to the injury.
So far this season, Hajek has played four games for the Rangers and accumulated one goal and six minutes in penalties. His possession numbers were 49.1 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of 7.8.
He was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round, 37th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. Hajeck was brought to New York as part of the Ryan McDonagh trade. The 20-year-old is in his first season as a pro and is untested. He’s showed some potential with the Hartford Wolfpack when he was called up. Readers can view the full prospect report by Ben Kerr here.
What This Means for the Future
The Rangers are in the midst of a difficult rebuild period. Aided with the loss of Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes during the trade deadline, the Rangers have struggled to play a consistent 60 minutes. Injury concerns, particularly defensively, puts added pressure on an already fairly inexperienced lineup.
Although fully expected, the Rangers will not be a contender for the playoffs this year, or for the next few seasons. But will start looking to the future and developing younger players.
The Rangers next face the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 01: Libor Hajek #43 of the New York Rangers skates in his first NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden on March 01, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)