Captain Blake Wheeler is officially back as the Winnipeg Jets have activated him from long-term injured reserve, the club announced via social media Saturday morning.
TRANSACTIONS: The #NHLJets have activated F – Blake Wheeler from long-term injured reserve, placed F – Nikolaj Ehlers on long-term injured reserve, and reassigned F – Kristian Reichel to the taxi squad.
— Winnipeg Jets PR (@WpgJetsPR) January 22, 2022
Wheeler, 35, has been sidelined since Dec. 10 with a lower-body injury and is now expected to make his highly anticipated return against the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
Despite missing over a month, the 6’5″ forward only ended up missing nine games thanks to the nine postponements that took place while he was injured. If there’s a silver lining to having all of those contests rescheduled – eight of which will be made up in February – it’s probably that.
While Wheeler will be returning to the Jets’ line-up, unfortunately, they remain without forward Nikolaj Ehlers and have placed him on LTIR, forcing him to miss a minimum of 10 games or 24 days. Even if this move is retroactive to Jan. 18, the earliest he’ll be eligible to return wouldn’t be until Feb. 14 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Through 22 games this season, Wheeler has averaged 19:24 minutes of ice-time per game, posting one goal, 17 points, 55 shots on goal, 27 hits, 11 takeaways and nine blocks.
Winnipeg will begin the first half of its back-to-back series in Boston on Saturday, beginning at 2:00 pm CT.