Kraken’s Jordan Eberle suffers skate cut to leg in practice

Seattle Kraken right wing Jordan Eberle sustained a leg injury when he was cut by a skate blade during practice, the team said Wednesday.

A team spokesperson said there was no further update on Eberle, who was injured after Jaden Schwartz lost his balance when he stepped on a puck, which led to his skate blade cutting Eberle.

Kraken general manager Ron Francis told The Seattle Times that Eberle had “a deep cut” near his quad muscle. Francis also said it appeared the Kraken alternate captain might have avoided a serious injury, even though the team was still awaiting an update on whether there was any tendon damage.

“I think we dodged a bullet,” Francis told the Times. “But he’s going to be pretty sore tomorrow.”

Eberle’s injury led to the Kraken calling up a pair of prospect forwards in Shane Wright and Ryan Winterton.

Wright, who was the fourth pick of the 2022 NHL draft, made his debut last season with an eight-game stint with the Kraken before being sent back to the OHL and eventually the Kraken’s AHL affiliate, the Coachella Valley Firebirds. Wright has scored four goals and six points in seven games this season for the Firebirds.

Winterton, a third-round pick in 2021, has three goals and five points in seven games in his first season of professional hockey. Winterton spent last season playing for the London Knights in the OHL, where he scored 12 goals and 36 points in 34 games.

Eberle has four points in 13 games this season. His injury comes within two weeks of the death of former NHL forward Adam Johnson, who died during a game for the Nottingham Panthers in England’s Elite Ice Hockey League when his throat was cut by a skate blade during a collision.

Johnson’s death led to a discussion throughout several levels of hockey, including the NHL, about neck guards and other preventative measures. His former team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, mandated that their AHL and ECHL affiliates will wear neck guards.

The English Ice Hockey Association also announced that it would make neck guards mandatory starting in 2024, while the WHL, one of the three leagues under the Canadian Hockey League umbrella, also said its players would wear mandatory neck guards going forward.

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