Moncton Wildcats left wing Ivan Barbashev, NHL Central Scouting's only "A"-rated player on the list of top 2014 NHL Draft-eligible players in its preliminary players to watch list for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will be sidelined at least 10 days after sustaining a lower-body injury on Wednesday.
Barbashev was injured while taking a faceoff in a game against the Saint John Sea Dogs when he attempted to kick the puck but instead caught his skate in a rut. Wildcats coach Darren Rumble said Barbashev "tweaked it a little bit."
"It's a huge loss to be missing him for a couple of days, but that's what happens when somebody goes down," Rumble told NHL.com. "It's an opportunity for someone else to step up."
Barbashev leads the team with 18 points and is tied for the team lead in goals (seven) and assists (11). He averages 1.29 points per game.
Rumble said Barbashev would sit out the next five games and could return to the lineup Nov. 1 when the Wildcats play at Saint John.
The injury certainly comes at an inopportune time for the Wildcats, who rank fourth in the Maritimes Division with 12 points.
Rumble is hopeful that QMJHL rookies Mark Simpson or Liam Hynes can step up their game in Barbashev's absence. Simpson has four goals and six points in 14 games and Hynes has one assist in seven matches.