Here’s Everett’s injury list from the weekly report released today:
Logan Aasman, F, upper body, week-to-week
Ben Betker, D, lower body, day-to-day
Manraj Hayer, F, lower body, day-to-day
Zane Jones, F, upper body, day-to-day
Jujhar Khaira, F, upper body, day-to-day
Matt Pufahl, D, upper body, day-to-day
Tyler Sandhu, F, upper body, day-to-day
That’s quite the list. It includes two of Everett’s three overagers, two of the team’s three NHL draft picks, and the team’s primary trade deadline acquisition. One could make a pretty good starting five from that list. The seven-player injury list is two more than any other team in the WHL.
The list isn’t truly indicative of the situation, either. Hayer, Jones and Sandhu are listed as day-to-day, but none of them are going to play this week, and along with Aasman they could all be two weeks away.
Therefore, as Everett prepares to hit the road to play defending league champion Portland for the third time in six days Wednesday night, the Tips are just hoping they can field a full lineup of 20 players.
The good news is that Pufahl practiced today. Everett’s captain hasn’t played since Jan. 4 because of an issue with his ribs. But if he survived practice unscathed he should be able to return Wednesday. Khaira didn’t practice today, but the Tips are hoping he’ll be able to go, too.
Even with Pufahl and Khaira the Tips would be one short. Therefore, defenseman Carter Cochrane is coming back again. Cochrane was a last-second call-up for Saturday’s game in Kent, and as his junior A team is not playing Wednesday, he’s getting the call again. Everett coach Kevin Constantine had very good things to say about Cochrane’s WHL debut against Seattle.
Given Everett’s injuries, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Tips continue to shuffle affiliated players Cochrane and Jordan Wharrie based on availability. Their locations just across the border have proven very convenient for the Tips.