Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Gustav Forsling will be out 14 weeks after undergoing surgery on his right wrist, the team announced Tuesday.
Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry said “the surgery went well.” The team did not give specifics about the injury.
Forsling’s 14-week timetable puts his return at Oct. 30, meaning he will miss the entire preseason and at least 12 regular-season games. Chicago opens the regular season Oct. 4 at Ottawa.
The 22-year-old Swedish defenseman has bounced between the NHL and AHL the past two seasons. Forsling, a left-handed shot, scored three goals and 13 points in 41 games last season for Chicago. He also posted five points (two goals, three assists) in 18 regular-season games for Rockford and added a goal and five points in 13 Calder Cup playoff contests.
With Forsling out, the Blackhawks defenseman corps will likely look like this:
Duncan Keith — Connor Murphy
Erik Gustafsson — Brent Seabrook
Brandon Manning — Jan Rutta
Finnish defenseman Henri Jokiharju, a 2017 first-round pick, who signed a three-year entry-level deal in June will also be trying to work his way into the lineup. The 19-year-old right-handed shot is coming off a stellar season with career-highs in points (71), goals (12) and assists (59) in 63 games during his second season with the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL.
If Jokiharju plays less than 10 NHL games next season, his contract will slide a season and begin for the 2019-20 season. If he isn’t on the Hawks, he must return to Portland but because Liiga’s Tapparra loaned him to the Winterhawks he shouldn’t be impacted by the CHL-NHL transfer agreement. He could also return to Tappara, but that’s unlikely given that he sought out playing in North America and has said his “biggest goal right now” is making the Hawks’ roster.