Johnny Boychuk will be out three-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury, Islanders President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello announced on Friday morning. Boychuk sustained the injury after blocking a shot in the second period of Game 4 against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.
Boychuk played in 74 games during the regular season and recorded 19 points (3G, 16A). Boychuk played in all four games of the Islanders first-round series against the Penguins alongside defensive partner Nick Leddy. Boychuk had one assist and was plus-one.
"Any time you lose a regular, it's a loss," Lamoriello said. "Fortunately, for us we have the depth at defense. Players are ready and it gives an opportunity for another player."
Video: Practice Update 4/19: Lou Lamoriello
Thomas Hickey is the likely candidate to replace Boychuk. Hickey appeared in 40 regular season games for the Islanders, but was a healthy scratch in seven of the Isles final eight games during the season, as Barry Trotz said he felt the Islanders had gained traction with their d-pairs.
"Obviously he defends well and has high courage, [a good] first pass and he's an intelligent player," Trotz said of Hickey. "All that said, he's highly competitive and has a lot of the attributes you want and we're blessed to have a player of his caliber coming into the lineup. You're not reaching for someone wondering if they can play, he can play."
Luca Sbisa and Dennis Seidenberg are also among the Isles reserve defensemen and both have solid playoff experience.
Video: Practice Update 4/19: Thomas Hickey
Boychuk's injury subtracts a veteran presence out the Isles locker room. Boychuk has played 12 years in the NHL and previously won the Stanley Cup in 2011 Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins.
"These things happen, but you can't let it get in the way," Lamoriello said. "That's why you have players who are working as hard as they do to, who are not in the lineup, to be ready because they know these types of situations inevitably will come about. Obviously, it did for us. We have a player and players to fill in those roles."
Video: Practice Update 4/19: Barry Trotz
Lamoriello also clarified that Cal Clutterbuck and Scott Mayfield, who were both absent at practice on Friday, were given a maintenance day.
"[Cal] Clutterbuck and [Scott] Mayfield are just maintenance days," Lamoriello said. "While we've got this time, we're going to give them a couple more days off. They're fine. They'll be back whenever the trainer feels it's the right thing."