Zach Hyman will be out at least two weeks for the Toronto Maple Leafs because of a knee injury.
The forward sprained his MCL in the second period of a 3-2 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday following a knee-on-knee hit by Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler.
Edler, who received a major penalty for kneeing and a game misconduct, was suspended for two games Monday.
“Massive. He does a lot for us,” Toronto forward Mitchell Marner said of Hyman. “He can play really anywhere in the lineup. Power play, penalty kill, 6-on-5, 5-on-6. So, he’s a big part of our team.”
Hyman has scored 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 43 games this season. He is second on the Maple Leafs in goals behind Auston Matthews (33) and fourth in points.
“I think, all things considered, if he can get himself back in two weeks, that would be great news for us,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “These types of hits and that type of contact can have some pretty bad results. So, let’s take it as ‘Hymes’ can come back strong and rested and ready to go for us, and our team will just press on.
“Of course we’ll miss him, but other people will step up and that in itself will make us a stronger group here down the stretch.”
The Maple Leafs (28-12-5) are first in the seven-team Scotia North Division, four points ahead of the second-place Winnipeg Jets heading into their game at Vancouver on Tuesday. The top four teams will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Toronto could have forward Nick Foligno for its game at Winnipeg on Thursday. The forward was traded to the Maple Leafs on April 11 in a three-team deal involving the Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks and was required to quarantine for at least seven days due to COVID-19 protocols after arriving in Toronto because he crossed the United States-Canada border.
Keefe said Foligno is expected to join the Maple Leafs in Winnipeg on Wednesday.
Frederik Andersen joined his teammates midway through practice Monday, but Keefe said it’s “too early” to say when the Maple Leafs’ No. 1 goalie will play. Andersen has not played since March 19 because of a lower-body injury.
“What injuries do is it creates opportunities for others, forces some changes in different things,” Keefe said.” So yeah, we’ve got other people that have played well for us, that can fill in, and we’ve played without important people throughout the season and played some of our best hockey when we missed guys.
“So, we’ve just got to give Hymes time to get healthy and know that he’ll come back strong. But our team shouldn’t miss a beat.”
NHL.com staff writer Mike Zeisberger contributed to this report