Zach Bogosian

After 15-game absence, Bogosian returns for Jets

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The reeling Winnipeg Jets will get a big boost to the lineup on Friday as defenseman Zach Bogosian returns from a groin injury to face the Panthers at the MTS Centre.

“He’s got weight, he’s passionate, he can get the puck stopped and he can do a lot of things,” Jets head coach Claude Noel said of Bogosian, as per the National Post.

“He’s a guy who can really help you and we look forward to having him back in the lineup.”

Bogosian, 23, has missed the last 15 games with the ailment, during which the Jets went 5-7-3. Prior to getting hurt he was averaging nearly 23 minutes per game.

At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Bogosian has emerged as a physical, workhorse blueliner for the Jets over the last few seasons. The former No. 3 overall pick at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft had a career campaign in the Jets’ first season in Winnipeg, scoring five goals with a career-high 25 assists in 65 games — but he’s also had injury issues throughout his time in Manitoba, the latest being this groin setback.

Despite the health woes, Winnipeg re-signed Bogosian to a seven-year, $36 million extension this past summer.

After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”

Virtanen to make NHL debut tonight versus Kings

Jake Virtanen
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Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.

The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.

“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”

Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.

The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.

If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.