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Jamie Drysdale Reportedly Sidelined Week-to-Week, Hopes to Return by End of Season

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

Not only did the Philadelphia Flyers drop their weekend set against the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers, but they also lost Jamie Drysdale mid-game on Sunday after he took a hard hit from Penguins forward Jansen Harkins. Drysdale immediately clutched his shoulder and jettisoned off the ice and into the locker room while the rest of the players ended up in a skirmish – only Nicolas Deslauriers was assessed a penalty out of it all.

Before being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in the Cutter Gauthier trade, Drysdale had endured a tough tenure that was mired by injuries. The 21-year-old defenseman from Toronto, Ontario, suffered through a shoulder injury last season that limited him to just 8 games. The hit itself wasn’t dirty by any means but Drysdale put himself into a compromising position and Harkins got every part of his shoulder on the crunching hit.

Drafted with the 6th overall pick back in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Drysdale has accumulated 10 goals and 49 points across 140 games in parts of 4 seasons. He played in 81 games in 2021-22 when he registered 4 goals and 32 points as a rookie while averaging 19:53 TOI. The sky was the limit entering 2022-23 but after just 8 games, the youngster sustained a season-ending shoulder injury and he finished the year with 0 points while averaging 17:37 TOI.

This year, while in Anaheim, Drysdale chipped in with 1 goal and 5 points in 10 games while averaging 21:35 TOI. He had missed 2 months of the season after he sustained a mysterious lower-body injury in the the second game of the season, he returned for a short stint before being moved. He made his Flyers debut on the 10th of January and chipped in with a power play assist before adding another helper in the following game. Unfortunately, his numbers tailed off as he scored just 2 goals and had no assists in his next 15 games while averaging 18:37 TOI.

John Tortorella admitted that there was still some work to be done with the youngster, but after missing an entire season in 2022-23 and then an additional 2 months with a completely different injury this year, he had made some great strides. Not to mention coming into a new team midseason, having to learn a completely new playbook, and playing for a head coach like Tortorella was going to take some time.

The Flyers had placed Rasmus Ristolainen on the injured reserve earlier Monday but it was retroactive to February 10th. However, he still remains on the mend for the foreseeable future and some believe it will be longer than the 2-3 weeks the Flyers originally tabbed.

With Drysdale now out on a week-to-week basis with the “hope of retuning by the end of the season”, it looks like the playoff-hopeful Flyers will have to stretch out their 6 able-bodied defensemen until the trade deadline.

Marc Staal, Nick Seeler, and Sean Walker could all be dealt within the next week and a half, but mum is the word so far with the Flyers asking price proving to be too high for many possible suitors. They have engaged in extension talks with both Seeler and Walker but with contenders intensifying their bid to improve ahead of the deadline, many keep turning back to the Flyers’ duo.

With Drysdale and Ristolainen out of the lineup, look for Egor Zamula to return from his one-game absence as a healthy scratch as the Flyers will rely heavily on Travis Sanheim, Cam York, and Walker in the interim. Emil Andrae and Ronnie Attard could prove to be viable call-ups from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms with the former tallying 27 points in 40 games and the former scoring 10 goals and 25 points in 46 games.

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