Jets get another Finnish Flash, take Laine at No. 2

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BUFFALO — Back in 1988, the Winnipeg Jets were forever changed when they used their first-round pick on Teemu Selanne.

Twenty-eight years later, the ‘Peg landed another high-scoring Finn with franchise-defining potential.

The Jets did the expected on Friday night, selecting 18-year-old super prospect Patrik Laine with the second overall selection at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. The decision came after Toronto took American phenom Auston Matthews at No. 1, paving the way for Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to select Laine, a gifted offensive winger with the size (6-foot-4, 206 pounds) and pedigree to play immediately in the NHL next season.

In May, Laine became the youngest player in the 80-year history of the World Hockey Championships to win MVP. He finished with 12 points in 10 games and tied Sweden’s Gustav Nyquist for the tournament goal-scoring title. He set up the game-winning goal against the host Russians in the semifinal, and was also named the tournament’s top forward.

Pretty impressive.

Following that performance, Laine made some big statements at the scouting combine. He said he thought he could be the next Alex Ovechkin. He said he has the ability to be the best player in the NHL. He said he was just as good as Matthews, and his goal was to go No. 1 overall.

Laine will now have to settle for second overall. But he may have fallen into the perfect situation.

The Selanne comparisons have been endless, and with good reason. There’s the heritage. The’s the lethal release and shot. The ability to pile up massive goal totals. There’s also the unforgettable energy that Winnipeg had during Selanne’s rookie campaign, when he scored a still-record 76 goals.

While it’s unfair to think Laine will match that kind of production, it’s easy to think Jets fans will be equally excited about his arrival — and Laine seemed excited about it, too, when asked about the possibility of landing in Winnipeg during the Stanley Cup Final.

“It would be nice to play there, of course, where he used to play,” Laine said. “The city was crazy about him.”

Probably going to be crazy about Laine as well.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.