Ducks Radio Analyst
EDMONTON, Alberta – The absence of top-line center Ryan Getzlaf
from tonight’s Ducks lineup against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place could open the door for the NHL debut of one of the club’s top prospects.
With Getzlaf to sit out after having aggravated his sprained left ankle in Wednesday night’s 4-1 loss at Vancouver, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle’s available options include newly signed former Boston University center Nick Bonino
Getzlaf, who missed two games last month and another March 17 due to the ankle injury originally suffered Feb. 8 during a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at Honda Center, did not take part in today’s morning skate.
“We feel it’s best that he doesn’t play tonight,” Carlyle said. “He has aggravated his high-ankle sprain three or four times.”
The Ducks, however, are “not shutting down” Getzlaf, who could very well play Monday night when the team returns home to face the Dallas Stars, Carlyle said.
“The ankle is not doing that great, so we just thought it would be better to stay off it tonight,” Getzlaf said. “I obviously hurt it again the other night in Vancouver. If I felt I could go out and contribute the whole game, I’d definitely be in there
“In order for me to be a good player, I need to be 100 percent, or as close to it as I can. We’re going to evaluate it again tomorrow.”
Getzlaf fought off effects of the ankle injury to score two goals and add two assists Feb. 14 in a 7-3 Ducks victory in their most recent visit to Edmonton, and subsequently played a key role on the gold medal-winning Canadian Olympic team in Vancouver. He leads the Ducks with 69 points, including 19 goals, in 66 games.
“You don’t just replace a Ryan Getzlaf
,” Carlyle said.
Center Ryan Carter, who has been a healthy scratch the past three games and seven of the past nine, and Bonino are available as possible fill-ins for Getzlaf.
Bonino, 21, signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Ducks on Sunday after having completed his junior season at Boston University. He led the Terriers with 38 points, including 11 goals, in 33 games.
A hero of Boston University’s NCAA championship team last season, Bonino and highly regarded goaltending prospect Timo Pielmeier came to the Ducks in a 2009 trade that sent defenseman Kent Huskins and left wing Travis Moen to the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks selected Bonino, a native of Hartford, Conn., in the sixth round of the 2007 NHL entry draft.