The St. John’s IceCaps have lost Riley Holzapfel for at least three weeks after the forward was hit in the face by a puck Monday in practice.
The 23-year-old from Regina, Sask., was scheduled to undergo surgery in Winnipeg for a broken orbital bone.
Holzapfel has seven goals and three assists on the year. He was playing on a line with veteran Marco Rosa and Spencer Machacek, the IceCaps’ co-leaders in points with 17 apiece.
The trio was the IceCaps’ most effective unit this past weekend in a pair of losses to the Toronto Marlies.
St. John’s coach Keith McCambridge said Tuesday either little-used rookies Shane Wiebe or Eric O’Dell will take Holzapfel’s place on the line.
Meanwhile, there is no news yet on whether the parent Winnipeg Jets will be returning defencemen Mark Flood, Brett Festerling and Arturs Kulda and/or forward Jason Jaffray, to St. John’s.
Veteran Ron Hainsey returned to the Winnipeg lineup last week from a 16-game stint on the disabled list, but is hurting again, and did not play Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators.
Joining Flood and Kulda as healthy defencemen in Winnipeg are Dustin Byfuglien, Zach Bogosian, Mark Stuart and Johnny Oduya.
Festerling is sidelined with a concussion, although he is back skating. Also skating are Randy Jones and Tobias Enstrom, although Enstrom is expected to be out until after Christmas with a broken collarbone. Jets’ coach Claude Noel said Jones is a week to 10 days away.
Derek Meech is out indefinitely.
Jaffray picked up his first point as a Jet, an assist, in a 4-2 loss to Boston Saturday.
He was a healthy scratch Friday in a 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, but played Tuesday against Ottawa.
Meanwhile the IceCaps have returned defenceman Mike Montgomery to the ECHL’s Ontario Reign. Montgomery did not appear in any games for St. John’s after being brought in last week.
The IceCaps have a two road games in Southern Ontario this weekend, against the Bulldogs Friday night in Hamilton and a Sunday afternoon date with the Marlies in Toronto.