After missing the last 25 games of the 2015-16 season with a neck injury, Winnipeg Jets forward Bryan Little was hoping to turn things around this season and get back on the ice.
After just one game, though, that won’t be happening.
Little left Thursday’s 5-4 OT victory between Winnipeg and Carolina with a lower body injury – and now, the team has confirmed he’ll be out long-term. Head coach Paul Maurice reported on Friday that the forward is out indefinitely, and the team won’t know more for the next few weeks.
Drafted 12th overall by the then-Atlanta Thrashers at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Little has spent his entire pro career in the Atlanta/Winnipeg system.
He boasts 163 goals and 386 career points through 614 games played between the club’s two locations, and put up 17 goals in 57 games last year before going down with his injury. Losing him from the offensive corps will almost certainly hurt Winnipeg, who are looking to turn things around after getting swept in the 2015 postseason and missing out on playoff action altogether this past spring.
For now, it’s hard to tell exactly how long he’ll be out. As mentioned earlier, the Jets confirmed that there won’t be more news for a while, and he’ll have to be reevaluated in a few weeks – meaning that it seems he could miss months at worst, and weeks at best. Hopefully, adding young players like Patrik Laine will help ease the sting of his injury for the Central Division club.
The Jets will next play tomorrow evening, when they face the Minnesota Wild.