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injury

Little out for Jets season opener with concussion

No timeline for center's return; Beaulieu to miss at least four weeks

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Bryan Little has a concussion and will be out for the Winnipeg Jets' season opener at the New York Rangers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, TSN3, NHL.TV).

There is no timeline for the center's return. He left a 5-4 overtime win at the Minnesota Wild on Sunday in the first period after a hit by forward Luke Kunin.

Nathan Beaulieu will be out at least four weeks with an upper-body injury. The third-pair defenseman was injured in the third period against Minnesota.

Coach Paul Maurice said Andrew Copp, who was the third-line left wing, will move up to the second line with wings Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine in Little's absence.

Winnipeg's first line of center Mark Scheifele, Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler is expected to remain intact.

"With Andrew in the middle there … I can use him strong defensively, real good face-off man," Maurice said. "It can be a powerful line. It'll look differently than (with) Bryan there, but it's still a line that can eat minutes … certainly he's got some comfort at center ice. He's the right guy to go there."

Copp had 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) in 69 games with the Jets last season. Little had 41 points (15 goals, 26 assists) in 82 games.

"Obviously two great players," Copp said of Ehlers and Laine. "I think we can complement each other pretty well in terms of our different styles of play and what we can each bring to the table. Should be a good opportunity to play with two of the best offensive players in the League, and hopefully we can find some chemistry right away."

Defenseman Josh Morrissey was named a third alternate captain, joining Scheifele and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who is suspended and not with Winnipeg after his request for a leave of absence at the start of training camp. Maurice said Byfuglien would remain an alternate captain if he does return.

Wheeler will remain captain.

Beaulieu, acquired in a trade from the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 25, had 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 48 games with the Sabres and Jets last season.

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