An unlucky season for newly minted New Jersey Devils captain Nico Hischier continues. The Devils have announced that Hischier has been placed on the injured reserve as a result of injuries suffered when he was struck in the face with the puck in a Feb. 27 matchup with the Washington Capitals. He is considered week-to-week.
This latest incident for Hischier occurred on Saturday when a high slap shot from teammate P.K. Subban hit Hischier square in the visor, knocking him out of the game. Hischier has not played since, and the Devils revealed that he has been in concussion protocol and will continue to undergo observation. Additionally, Hischier suffered a “sinus fracture,” a broken nose or facial bone.
This is Hischier’s third separate health issue so far this season. He got a late start to the season due to a leg injury, only to land on the NHL’s COVID protocol-related absences list with many of his teammates before he could even return to action. Hischier finally returned to the lineup on Feb. 20 and, thanks to a condensed schedule, was able to play in five games before this latest injury occurred only a week later. Altogether, he has missed 13 games – or 72% – of New Jersey’s season so far, and he is now out for another indefinite period of time.
The Devils will continue to have to rely on their many young players to step up in Hischier’s place as they have so far this season. One of the early highlights for New Jersey this season has been Janne Kuokkanen, who has six points in 13 games. While it may not seem like much, it is in fact tied for fifth-most among Devils forwards. Kuokkanen has been promoted back to the active roster from the taxi squad to take Hischier’s place in the lineup.