Mattias Ekholm will miss the beginning of training camp with a hip flexor injury
Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis2 months ago
Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland announced on Wednesday that defenceman Mattias Ekholm will miss the start of training camp because of a hip flexor injury.
No additional information was provided about the injury or when it happened, but it appears that it isn’t severe considering Ekholm participated in captain’s skates with the team earlier this week.
“It’s just maintenance,” Ekholm said. “We have a few extra weeks so no need to rush it. If it was the regular season, I’d just push through it.”
The 33-year-old is entering his first full season in Edmonton. The Oilers acquired Ekholm from the Nashville Predators ahead of last season’s trade deadline in order to add a much-needed veteran presence to their blueline.
He scored 14 points in 21 games for the Oilers and had an incredibly impressive 35-to-12 on-ice goal differential at even-strength while playing alongside Evan Bouchard. The team played far and away their best hockey of the season following the addition of Ekholm as they rode an 18-2-1 record through March and April.
According to Jason Gregor, Holland said that Philip Broberg will get a lot of reps in Ekholm’s absence.
Edmonton’s first-round pick from the 2019 draft has played 69 games at the NHL level over the last two seasons while logging an average of 12:54 per game. The 22-year-old is entering the third and final year of his entry-level contract and the hope is that he can take on a larger role on the team’s blueline this season.
Broberg is the fourth left-handed defenceman on Edmonton’s depth chart behind Darnell Nurse, Ekholm, and Brett Kulak. When the Oilers have a fully healthy blueline, Broberg’s best path to playing time might be on the right side, which features a less-experienced trio in Cody Ceci, Evan Bouchard, and Vincent Desharnais.
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