Injuries giveth, and injuries taketh away. At least, that was the case for the Toronto Marlies today. Significant process appears to have been made with William Nylander while Stuart Percy seems a little worse for wear after today’s game against St. John’s.
William Nylander has been reactivated to the Toronto Marlies roster — a positive sign as he makes his way back from a concussion.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 17, 2016
This is a good sign for Nylander, who has been out commission since getting hit in the second shift of his 2016 World Juniors Debut on Boxing Day. Both the Swedish Ice Hockey Association and the Leafs were very cautious with how they handled him, as they should’ve been. The Leafs took it a step further, going as far as demanding that Nylander not speak to Swedish media, and bringing him home as soon as they could to be evaluated by their own staff. Publicly, they found a way to acknowledge severity but downplay the panic. After years of handling head injuries in eyebrow-raising ways, the organization took care of this fantastically.
Reactivation allows him to come back to the lineup whenever he wants, though it’s not yet known whether that he’ll play in Toronto’s next game on Wednesday night. At this rate, it’s likely that he’ll play by the end of the weekend, but there isn’t any confirmation just yet.
Nylander has 34 points in 27 games this year; no longer the best in the league by raw points, but still at the top for points-per-game, where he has the best numbers for any teenager in AHL history.
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) January 18, 2016
Meanwhile, the team had a scary moment today as Stuart Percy took a shot to the head region, leaving him down on the ice for an extended period of time. Percy missed the rest of the game, and while he wouldn’t rule anything out, head coach Sheldon Keefe wasn’t overly optimistic about the status of his 22-year-old defenceman.
“No real updates,” said Keefe of Percy and fellow defenceman Justin Holl, who was injured yesterday. “Both guys took some whacks to the head, so we’ll have to get them evaluated again day-to-day. They’re big losses for us; Justin Holl was playing real nice hockey. Percy again I thought was a star yesterday and was playing good hockey again today, so those are two big losses for our guys. We’re a different team without them.”
It’s not known whether Percy’s injury is a facial break or fracture, or something a little higher up in the head. The latter would be scary, seeing as he’s suffered multiple concussions over the course of his young career. His last head injury, which was suffered just before Christmas 2014, kept him out of the lineup for nearly three weeks.
Though he’s been relatively quiet with his play, Percy has been a bit more productive than in previous AHL years. In 33 games this year, he has 4 goals and 10 assists, along with 38 shots on goal. The Marlies return to Ricoh Coliseum on Wednesday night to take on the Syracuse Crunch.