WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Johnny Boychuk was placed on injured reserve Thursday with a lower-body injury that the Islanders described as week-to-week, depleting the team’s defense depth even further.
Sebastian Aho, the team’s fifth-round pick in June, was recalled from Bridgeport in advance of Friday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.
Calvin de Haan is already out indefinitely and appears headed for shoulder surgery that would end his season following an injury suffered on Dec. 16. Boychuk had been battling a lower-body injury that cost him three games earlier this month, but it’s unknown if the current problem is related.
Boychuk and de Haan were second and third among Islanders players in even-strength ice time this season.
Aho, 21, has four years of pro experience in the Swedish League and has been a productive player in his first North American year. He has nine goals and 11 assists in 29 games for the Sound Tigers — the nine goals are second in the AHL for defensemen.
The Isles began the season with eight defensemen and rotated several of those through the first 30 games, forcing some uncomfortable healthy scratches. Even with de Haan sidelined, Doug Weight chose to sit Ryan Pulock for Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime win over the Sabres to get Dennis Seidenberg some work.
But Weight will need all his young defensemen now that two of his most experienced players are down.
The only upside to the timing of Boychuk’s injury is that the Islanders have their league-mandated five-day break from Jan. 8-13. They play six games in 10 days prior to that break starting with Friday’s game here against the Jets.
Notes & quotes: Winnipeg got some bad news of its own on Thursday, learning that top center Mark Scheifele will be out 6-8 weeks with an upper-body injury he suffered in Wednesday’s win over the Oilers.