Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse is expected to be out up to 12 weeks after having surgery to repair ligament and bone damage to his ankle.
Nurse, 21, had three goals and two assists in 25 games. He last played Dec. 1 against the Winnipeg Jets and was placed on injured reserve Dec. 3 because of a lower-body injury.
"I thought Darnell was one of our best transporters of the puck through the neutral zone, skating it and jumping into the rush, and we'll miss that a little bit," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said.
Nurse is roommates with Oilers captain Connor McDavid, a fact McLellan said would be good for Nurse. McDavid missed three months last season because of a broken left clavicle.
"He has a roommate that happened to go through that last year, and they can support each other," McLellan said. "That's what leaders do and what teammates do. It's not going to be a lot of fun for him, sitting and watching his teammates play, particularly because he was having a tremendous year to this point. He's really advanced his game and improved it in a number of areas. So one, we'll miss him, and two, he's got to deal with the mental part of him. The mind heals the body and he has to stay fresh that way. But the third one, and most important part, is that he has some support around him from a young man that went through that last year."
The No. 7 pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, Nurse has six goals and 15 points in 96 NHL games.