Austin Watson will be out four weeks for the Ottawa Senators with an ankle injury.
The forward was injured in a 5-4 preseason shootout win at the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 7.
“It’s his physicality, being in the League and his leadership, but it’s his energy day to day on the bench, holding guys accountable, that is the stuff you don’t see from up top,” coach D.J. Smith told the Senators website. “How much the guys respect him, how hard he plays, that’s where we’re going to miss him.
“He’s willing to do anything for the team.”
Watson scored 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 34 games for the Senators last season. He didn’t play after March 22 because of a hand injury.
“‘Watty’ brings a lot more to the team than the naked eye,” Ottawa forward Connor Brown said. “He’s such a heart and soul guy, and his willingness to block shots with any part of his body.
“His commitment to doing anything it takes to win is contagious, so we’ll miss him and hope he gets back soon.”
The Senators open their season against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS2, TSN4, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).