Winnipeg Jets Lose Nathan Beaulieu and Bryan Little to Injuries

Nathan Beaulieu
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10: Nathan Beaulieu #88 of the Winnipeg Jets in action against the Washington Capitals during the third period at Capital One Arena on March 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The start of the regular season is right around the corner, the Winnipeg Jets will be without two more players. As first reported by Sara Orlesky of TSN, defenceman Nathan Beaulieu will be out at least four weeks with an upper-body injury. Before that forward Bryan Little was placed in concussion protocol.

Jets Lose Nathan Beaulieu and Bryan Little

Things appeared heading in the right direction for the Jets. With Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor signed to new contracts, the Jets could focus on things on the ice. Now with the Jets set to open the season on the road, they will be without two key players in the lineup. With the Jets defence already in shambles, this injury just makes things worse. The right side for the Jets is nonexistent after Jacob Trouba,Tyler Myers, and Ben Chiarot all left. And with Dustin Byfuglien still up in the air about his future, not having a guy like Beaulieu for a month hurts.

Little sustained his upper-body injury during the Jets’ final preseason game on Sunday. Luke Kunin of the Minnesota Wild delivered a high hit to Little. Head coach Paul Maurice did not like the hit, but Kunin did not face any supplemental discipline. There is no timetable for when Little will return.

Next Man Up

Entering the season, Beaulieu was expected to pick up some of the slack from those who departed in the off-season. He will have to work to get back into the lineup some point this season. With the Jets defence reeling, Winnipeg claimed defenceman Carl Dahlstrom from the Chicago Blackhawks on waivers. Dahlstrom along with Anthony Bitetto and Tucker Poolam are the likely candidates to replace Beaulieu on the Jets’ bottom pair.

Little on the other hand was to be on the bottom-six for the Jets this season. Though he would have been the guy to earn a promotion to the top six if there was an injury. With his status unknown and a long shot at best for games against the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, look for Adam Lowry or J.C. Pipon to earn a spot on the 23-man roster.

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Jim is a 2008 graduate of Saint Michaels College who is currently writing about the NHL for Last Word on Hockey. His work includes writing about the New Jersey Devils as well as NHL Notebooks for the Metro and Central Division. Jim has a passion for the game of hockey. As one coach put it "he is the student of the game." When Jim is not writing he can be found at the local rinks playing or being a referee. Throughout his time in the game, Jim coaches a local high school team in New Jersey. In addition, he broadcasted several New Jersey Junior Rockets games for the Eastern Hockey League. Reach him on Twitter: @JimBiringer

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