When it comes to injury news, there was good news and bad news for the Edmonton Oilers on Monday. The bad news? Defenseman Slater Koekkoek, who took a big hit just 14 seconds into Saturday’s 7-1 win over the Flames, was placed on LTIR and is lost for the regular season with a broken collarbone.
The good news? Defensemen Ethan Bear and William Lagesson and forward Kailer Yamamoto were all on the ice for practice ahead of the team’s flight to Vancouver. Yamamoto was injured late on Saturday night, while Lagesson has been on the mend for a week now. Bear, meanwhile, was injured on January 30th when a puck hit him in the head while on the bench.
All three are close, with varying availabilities for tomorrow night.
“Lagesson’s not ready. He won’t play tomorrow night,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said on Monday when asked to evaluate the status of his injured defenders. “Ethan Bear had a good day today and he’s going to check with the doctors today. We’ll have a better idea in the morning of where he’s at.”
With Koekkoek done for the regular season and Lagesson not quite ready, that opens the door for Caleb Jones to return to the lineup tomorrow night against the Canucks.
“He’s available,” Tippett said of Jones. “We’ll have to see where we are with injuries. He’s a player that we feel confident if we throw him in there, he’s going to do the job. We’ve been looking for a different mix and his number hasn’t come up.”
Yamamoto, meanwhile, was injured late in the second period of Saturday’s lopsided win. Sources have indicated that the injury is not severe, and that it was more of a precaution than anything with the Oilers up by five goals at the second intermission.
“It was a pretty hard hit. He got banged up pretty good,” Tippett said. “He was alright yesterday and today he was out there in practice. We’ll see how he is but it doesn’t seem like there are any ill-effects. We kept him out the other day. We had a lead in the game so out of precaution, we kept him out. He seems alright but he got through practice fine.”
Leon Draisaitl was the notable absence on Monday, but was a given a “maintenance” day and should be in the lineup tomorrow night.