NHL Injury: Vladimir Tarasenko close, Chris Kreider set to return, Juraj Slafkovsky out 3 months, and more

St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko appears to be ahead of schedule as he recover from a hand injury.

On January 2, the Blues placed him on IR with a timeframe of four weeks before returning to action. According to Lou Korac of NHL.com, head coach Craig Berube believes he’s close to playing.

Tarasenko, 31, has 29 points in 34 games this season. He is a top trade bait candidate.

NHL Injury: Chris Kreider to return for Rangers

The New York Rangers will host the Boston Bruins tonight at Madison Square Garden with top-line winger Chris Kreider back in the lineup.

Kreider, 31, was injured on a shoulder-to-shoulder check by Marcus Foligno in the Rangers 4-3 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild last week. He’s missed three games with an upper-body injury.

“It’s never fun not being able to help out,” Kreider said. “I feel good.”

The Blueshirts forward is second on the team with 19 goals and has registered 30 points in 42 games this season.

“He’s a huge part of this team,” Captain Jacob Trouba noted. “It’ll be great to have him back.”

NHL Injury: Juraj Slafkovsky out 3 months

nhl injury juraj slafkovsky
Jan 9, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Juraj Slafkovsky (20) prepares for a face off against the Seattle Kraken during the second period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens announced Wednesday that rookie forward Juraj Slafkovsky will be sidelined three months with a lower-body injury that does not require surgery.

Slafkovsky, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

The 18-year-old Slovak logged 9:04 of ice time in his most recent game, a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers on Sunday. He has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 39 games this season.

Also on Wednesday, the Canadiens announced Jake Evans will be out eight-to-10 weeks with a lower-body injury and fellow forwards Jonathan Drouin and Joel Armia will both be sidelined until the All-Star break due to upper-body ailments.

Montreal also announced goaltender Jake Allen has an upper-body injury. He will be out for a minimum of one week.

Evans, 26, exited Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the New York Islanders in the first period. He has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 43 games this season.

Drouin, 27, has 12 assists in 28 games in 2022-23.

Armia, 29, has seven points (three goals, four assists) in 32 games this season.

Allen, 32, is 10-16-1 with a 3.52 goals-against average and .892 save percentage in 27 games (all starts) this season.

Cale Makar day-to-day

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar was ruled out of Wednesday’s game against the host Calgary Flames due to an undisclosed injury. The Avs beat the Flames 4-1.

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said Makar is day-to-day with the injury.

Makar, 24, is a native of Calgary. He did accompany the team on its three-game road trip, which continues in Vancouver on Friday and Seattle on Saturday.

The reigning Norris and Conn Smythe Trophy recipient, Makar has 43 points (13 goals, 30 assists) in 42 games this season. He was on a six-game point streak (four goals, four assists) prior to Wednesday’s contest.

Makar has totaled 223 points (61 goals, 162 assists) in 220 career games since being selected by the Avalanche with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

–Field Level Media

–The Daily Goal Horn contributed to this article