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Ducks waiting for word on extent of Trevor Zegras’ upper-body injury

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IRVINE — The best-case outcome would have meant the effervescent Trevor Zegras entertaining his teammates on the ice at practice on Thursday.

A worst-case scenario for the Ducks? Losing Zegras for a substantial amount of time, impacting the regular season.

What has transpired, so far, is something murkier in the middle.

“He did not practice. We’re sending him for a more in-depth look,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “Hopefully we’ll have those results back by the morning. So we’re in a holding pattern on that.”

On Wednesday night, Zegras suffered an upper-body injury in the second period of the Ducks’ 3-1 preseason victory over the Arizona Coyotes at Honda Center. He was shaken up after taking a hard hit from Coyotes forward Jan Jenik in the neutral zone, left the game, and did not return.

Adam Henrique immediately responded and fought Jenik. His reaction earned praise from Eakins after the game, and Eakins’ kudos also extended to other players, noting that the group is “tight-knit.”

“You don’t have to be a gunslinger to go stick up for a buddy,” Eakins said. “If there’s one guy in a scrum, then we should all be in a scrum. You can do this as a team and that’s the approach we took.

“Teams right across the league – and I’m not talking about Arizona – teams right across the league, I think you need to be careful with that game now. Because you can ignite these skilled teams and they will start putting pucks in your net.”

Ducks prospect forward Nathan Gaucher immediately came to the defense of teammate Jacob Perreault in the rookie tournament against the Arizona Coyotes after what Gaucher called a “dangerous” hit.

Defending teammates is part of hockey’s DNA.

“When I was these guys’ age – in my second or third training camp – there were five gunslingers on each team,” Eakins said. “The game has gotten way better. The game is fast. The game’s skilled.

“Are there going to be instances like last night? Yeah, but I find them few and far between now.”

It is about moving forward.

“We’re not going to sit around here and cry about a hit,” Eakins said. “You know what, Z got hit. I don’t like it when I see one of our players laying on the ice after a hit and I don’t like when I see one of theirs either. But I will say this: I’m not sure that we would afford one of their players the luxury of not getting hit there.”

Should Zegras be out for a lengthy period, would the Ducks move rookie Mason McTavish to the center spot from the wing? However, McTavish is also dealing with an injury in training camp and has yet to appear in a preseason game.

Eakins noted that McTavish is “improving,” adding, ‘We don’t expect it to be long term. We’re just trying to get him better and back up to speed. We don’t expect him to miss a whole lot of time.

“It just flared up on him. When you get into these training camps – we’ve had a hard first five days or whatever it is – their groins, their hip flexors, their backs, all of that starts to flare up.”


It wasn’t all unsettling news at Great Park Ice. Forward Max Jones, who suffered an injury scare earlier in the week, was back practicing.

“It was good to see (Jones) back out there,” Eakins said. “Not only for his body but mentally after missing last season and to get injured again, that wouldn’t be good.”

Defenseman John Klingberg will have quite a story to tell his daughter, Ida Viola when she grows up. Klingberg was walking out to the ice just before the third period of Wednesday’s game and got word that his wife, Fanny, had gone into labor. He left Honda Center and got to the hospital about half an hour before Ida was born.

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“It was awesome he could get there and support his wife,” Eakins said. “And cheer her on as she does probably the most difficult thing to do in this world.”


The Ducks cut their roster to 54 players on Thursday. Most notably, defenseman Olen Zellweger was sent back to his junior team (Everett, WHL). Also assigned to their junior teams were goaltender Gage Alexander (Swift Current, WHL), Gaucher (Quebec, QMJHL), defenseman Tyson Hinds (Sherbrooke, QMJHL), and center Sean Tschigerl (Calgary, WHL). Defenseman Charles Cote was released from his PTO.

Zellweger made a lasting impression even before his eye-opening assist on Ryan Strome’s goal in the second period against the Coyotes.

“He was really good,” defenseman Jamie Drysdale said. “He was flying out there. He’s going to be a player, and I know he already is.”

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