With some players still out due to injuries, head coach Luke Richardson announced that Alex Vlasic will return to the lineup against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night. 

The 6-foot-6 defenseman missed the last four games after he suffered an injury back on Dec. 14. After a few days of rest during the NHL holiday break, Vlasic stated that he felt ready to go for game action. 

“It's tough. I mean, that’s kind of the way the seasons going right now,” Vlasic said. “I feel like everybody's been dealing with something so that's just kind of the way of the road and hopefully I'm feeling good from here on out.” 

Vlasic exited the contest against the Seattle Kraken early after he endured a minor hit. Since then, he noted that he sat out as a precautionary measure, so he didn’t risk any other setbacks. 

While he wanted to return to the ice sooner, he knew that it would be best to take some rest. 

“I had to talk myself down a bit,” Vlasic said. “Right away, I kind of wanted to get back and it was a slow process but feeling pretty good now.” 

With the Illinois native out of the lineup, this gave others a chance to step up like Wyatt Kaiser and Isaak Phillips and be placed in new opportunities. 

Vlasic understood the importance of those chances because he experienced some power play time when he stepped up for Seth Jones. While he never played on the special teams unit, he felt that he learned from the experience and showcased his other skill sets. 

“It's a great opportunity for everybody coming in and showing what they got when they when they get the chance to be the lineup,” Vlasic said.