As we are approximately one month prior to the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche suffered significant injuries. Wild left winger Kirill Kaprizov of Novokuznetsk, Russia is out with a lower-body injury, and Avalanche left winger Artturi Lehkonen of Piikkio, Finland is out with a broken finger. Kaprizov is projected to be out three to four weeks, while Lehkonen is expected to be out six weeks according to Austin Nivison of CBS Sports.
How the Injuries Happened
Kaprizov has not played since March 8 when he received a large hit by Winnipeg Jets’s defenseman Logan Stanley of Kitchener, Ontario in the Wild offensive zone. Lehkonen’s injury came in the Avalanche 8-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday, and the break is severe enough it will require surgery according to Nivison.
Kaprizov in 2022-23
This season, Kaprizov has 39 goals and 35 assists for 74 points in 65 games. He is a +6 with 35 penalty minutes, 31 power-play points, six game-winning goals, 250 shots on goal, two faceoff wins, 28 blocked shots, 65 hits, 48 takeaways, and 52 giveaways. Kaprizov has a career high in game-winning goals this season.
Kaprizov has six three-point games in Wild wins. They came in a 4-3 Wild win over the Vancouver Canucks on October 20 (overtime-winning goal and two assists), in a 4-3 Wild win over the Montreal Canadiens on November 27 (one goal and two assists), in a 5-3 Wild win over the Edmonton Oilers on December 1 (one goal and two assists), in a 4-1 Wild won over the Chicago Blackhawks on December 16 (one goal and two assists), in a 4-2 Wild win over the Ottawa Senators on December 18 (one goal and two assists), and in a 3-2 Wild win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on February 26 (hat trick).
Lehkonen in 2022-23
Lehkonen has 20 goals and 29 assists for 49 points in 62 games. He is a +6 with 28 penalty minutes, 20 power-play points, one shorthanded point, three game-winning goals, 145 shots on goal, four faceoff wins, 42 blocked shots, 89 hits, 24 takeaways and 12 giveaways. Lehkonen’s shorthanded goal came in a 3-2 Avalanche win over the Philadelphia Flyers from Erik Johnson of Bloomington, Minnesota on December 13. He also had career highs in goals, assists, points, power-play points, and blocked shots.
Lehkonen has three three-point games in Avalanche wins this season. They came in a 5-2 Colorado win over the Chicago Blackhawks on October 12 (two goals and one assist), in a 7-0 Colorado win over the Ottawa Senators on January 14 (two goals and one assist), and in an 8-4 Avalanche win over the Montreal Canadiens on March 13 (two goals and one assist).