The Arizona Coyotes were already one of the league leaders in terms of man-games lost due to injury.
That total is only going to get worse.
The team announced on Tuesday that forward Nick Schmaltz will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2018-19 season due to a lower-body injury.
Schmaltz has not played since Dec. 30, missing each of the team’s past three games.
It is disappointing news for the Coyotes because Schmaltz had been playing very well since he was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks earlier this season in exchange for Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini. In his first 17 games with the Coyotes he had tallied 14 total points (five goals, nine assists) and was on pace for more than 50 points overall for the second year in a row.
The 22-year-old forward scored 21 goals and 52 total points in his first full NHL season a year ago with the Blackhawks.
Strome has had nearly identical production for the Blackhawks since the trade.
Along with Schmaltz, the Coyotes are also currently without Michael Grabner, Christian Dvorak, Jason Demers, and starting goalie Antti Raanta due to injury.
Alex Galchenyuk, Jakob Chychrun, and Alex Goligoski have also missed significant time this season due to injury. All of that has helped contribute to another difficult season for the Coyotes.
Entering play on Tuesday the Coyotes are in 12th place in the Western Conference with an 18-21-3 record, sitting six points out of a playoff spot with four teams in front of them.
Related: Strome making most of his fresh start with the Blackhawks
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.
Players of the Night:
Curtis McElhinney, Toronto Maple Leafs:
McElhinney turned aside all 41 shots that came his way as the Leafs shutout the Edmonton Oilers 1-0. The Leafs backup improved to 3-2-0 on the season and his save percentage jumped from .900 to 9.25. Toronto has now won three straight and six of their past 10.
Brayden Schenn, St. Louis Blues:
Schenn notched his sixth goal in his past four games and extended his goal-scoring streak to four games with a goal 40 seconds into the game. The Blues are now winners of four straight and six of their past 10.
Eric Stall, Minnesota Wild & Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks:
Both scored twice for their respective teams in an entertaining 4-3 win for the Wild in overtime.
Highlight of the Night:
Vladimir Tarasenko catches the Sabres defense sleeping in overtime, scoring his first non-empty net goal in nine games:
Factoid of the Night:
Patrick Kane didn’t score, but his two assists were instrumental in giving the Chicago Blackhawks a victory on Sunday.
Blackhawks 3, Coyotes 1
Blues 3, Sabres 2 (OT)
Maple Leafs 1, Oilers 0
Wild 4, Sharks 3
Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck
Jack Eichel highlights Team USA’s national junior evaluation camp roster, which was unveiled on Thursday.
Eichel, who captained the 2015 U.S. world junior squad, is one of 11 players from this year’s tournament invited to the camp, which takes place Aug. 1-8, in Lake Placid, New York.
Rangers’ prospect Brandon Halverson returns in goal while Brandon Carlo, Ryan Collins, Noah Hanifin and Zach Werenski were all a part of the Americans’ blue line at the 2015 tournament.
Dylan Larkin, Auston Matthews, Sonny Milano, Nick Schmaltz and Alex Tuch along with Eichel were among the U.S. forward group at this year’s tournament.
Eichel is also one of 18 invited players eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft next week in Florida.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ENTIRE ROSTER
Matthews, who will likely spend the 2015-16 season playing professionally in Europe, is the top rated prospect for the 2016 NHL Draft. Five players invited are eligible for next year’s draft.
The Americans have medaled in three of the past six world junior tournaments. The U.S. took home gold medals in 2013 and 2010, and bronze in 2011. Team USA finished fifth at the 2015 event.
The 2016 world junior championship takes place in Helsinki, Finland from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
Related: Here’s the full 2015 NHL Entry Draft order