RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes received some catastrophic news on Monday.
Star forward Andrei Svechnikov will be out for the remainder of the season after suffering a right knee injury on Saturday night against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Svechnikov sits third on the Hurricanes in goals (23) and points (55) behind Martin Necas and Sebastian Aho. He also leads the team in shots (205).
Since entering the NHL in 2018-19, only Aho has recorded more points for the Hurricanes.
Losing Svechnikov for the remainder of the season is problematic for the Hurricanes, to say the least.
Svechnikov had been thriving on Carolina’s top line with Aho and Seth Jarvis. The player who seems likely to get a bump in the meantime is newcomer Jesse Puljujarvi.
Acquired from the Edmonton Oilers prior to the NHL’s trade deadline, Puljujarvi got some first line ice time Saturday following the Svechnikov injury.
He has some familiarity with countryman Aho from their days representing FInland together on the world stage, and will bring a measure of defensive responsibility - and perhaps some scoring punch - to the team’s top unit.
Still, it’s a massive loss for a team with very real Stanley Cup aspirations, and might cause some regret in terms of not chasing bigger fish prior to the deadline in light of Max Pacioretty also being out for the rest of the season with a re-torn Achilles.
The Hurricanes are currently tied with the New Jersey Devils for first place in the Metropolitan Division.