NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Islanders won’t have Johnny Boychuk for a while, but will get a look at a young defenseman who could be a big part of their future.
The team announced Thursday that it put veteran Boychuk on injured reserve and recalled 21-year-old Sebastian Aho from AHL Bridgeport.
Boychuk is considered week to week with what the team is calling a lower-body injury. The 32-year-old defenseman logged a whopping 24:57 of ice time during the Isles’ 3-2 overtime win over visiting Buffalo on Wednesday. It is unclear if he suffered the injury during the game or if it was something that was lingering from prior to the Christmas break.
It was the second big blow to the Islanders’ defense in 10 days. Early last week the team announced veteran Calvin de Haan had been placed on IR with an upper-body injury. De Haan is not expected to return before the end of the regular season.
Aho has risen up through the Islanders’ farm system quickly. The 2017 fifth-round pick (139th overall) has been touted for his offensive skills, as he totaled nine goals and 11 assists in 29 games for Bridgeport prior to his recall. His 20 points ranked third on the team.
Last season, Aho had 10 goals and 20 assists for Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish Hockey League. He represented Sweden at the 2014 Under-18 World Junior Championships.
The Islanders (20-13-4), who sit in a tie for fourth place in the Metropolitan Division and occupy a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, will next be in action on Friday at Winnipeg.