Adding to this miserable current stretch, the Winnipeg Jets will be without another defenceman as Nathan Beaulieu has been ruled out through the All-Star break due to injury, the club announced Friday.
Following the team’s morning practice at Canada Life Centre, interim coach Dave Lowry revealed that Beaulieu suffered a lower-body injury during Thursday’s loss to the Vancouver Canucks. As a result, he’ll remain in Winnipeg during this upcoming two-game road trip to conclude the unofficial first half of the regular season.
#NHLJets Nathan Beaulieu (lower body injury) will not make the 2 game road trip with the team. The hope is Dylan DeMelo and/or Josh Morrissey might be available for Tues game is PHI.
— Sara Orlesky (@saraorlesky) January 28, 2022
Beaulieu, 29, is the latest member of the Jets’ rapidly depleted blue-line to sit out due to injury, joining Dylan DeMelo (upper-body), Logan Stanley (lower-body), Dylan Samberg (upper-body) and Josh Morrissey (COVID-19).
Without these five blueliners, Winnipeg will be forced to call upon additional defenders from its prospect system, which will see either Declan Chisholm or Leon Gawanke draw in as an injury replacement. Additionally, rookie Johnathan Kovacevic, who made his NHL debut Thursday, is also expected to be activated from the taxi squad for a second straight game.
Based on Friday’s practice, here are the Jets’ projected defensive pairings for Saturday’s contest:
Brenden Dillon – Nate Schmidt
Ville Heinola – Neal Pionk
Chisholm – Kovacevic
Winnipeg will attempt to end its six-game losing streak against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, beginning at 2:00 pm CT.