On Thursday morning just as the Blackhawks were taking the ice for the morning skate, the team announced forward Tyler Johnson has been placed on injured reserve with a right ankle sprain. It is a good sign he was placed on just injured reserve and not long-term injured reserve, especially when you look at how bad the play looked in real time.
Johnson suffered the injury on Tuesday night against Florida (here’s the video in case you missed it):
The Blackhawks aren’t recalling anyone from Rockford to fill his shoes, even though Tyler has been playing well and healthy in a second-line role thus far. Early indications are that Jujhar Khaira will move up to Jonathan Toews‘ line in Tyler’s place and Reese Johnson will draw into the lineup on the fourth line with Colin Blackwell (who will switch sides on the wing) and MacKenzie Entwistle.
Head coach Luke Richardson said they felt fortunate that it looks like “just” an ankle sprain and wouldn’t put a definitive timeline on anything, but he referenced it being similar to Boris Katchouk‘s ankle injury. Katchouk’s IR statement indicated he would miss 4-6 weeks, and he hasn’t played in a game since getting hurt in preseason action on Oct. 1. He has started skating with the team in a full contact capacity this week, though.
It’s terribly unfortunate that Tyler is going to miss time because he’s been so good early this season. He’s been a point-per-game guy (6 points in 6 games) and has worked well on special teams as well. After appearing in only 26 games last year because of injury, his return has been a welcome addition to an offense questioned by many before the season began.