Paul Maurice announced that the Jets’ top line centre, Bryan Little, will be shutdown for the remainder of the season due to a spinal compression fracture after a very iffy hit from Tampa Bay Lightning’s Anton Stralman:
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) February 25, 2016
The Winnipeg Jets’ tank-mode has just hit another gear, although in a way no one would ever wish on anyone.
Little finishes off the season with 42 points in 57 games for the Winnipeg Jets. At 5v5, the 28-year-old centre paced at 1.9 points per 60 minutes for the second year in a row. The Jets controlled 53.67 per cent of all shots (goals, saves, misses, blocks) with Little on the ice, while only controlled 50.72 with him on the bench. This 2.95 change in percentage points was greater than any Jet not named Mathieu Perreault, Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, or Nikolaj Ehelers.
Little has been an exceptional all-situations type centre for the Jets and will be missed dearly.
A compressed fracture on the vertebrae is no joking matter, and can take 8 weeks to years to rehab, and it is not uncommon to find individuals who never fully recover.
For the Jets’ sake, and Little’s, we hope that the Jets number one centre can come back at full health and capacity next year.