Toronto Maple Leafs forward Ryan O’Reilly will be placed on long-term injured reserve with a broken finger, head coach Sheldon Keefe confirmed Monday.
O'Reilly underwent surgery for the injury and is expected to miss the next four weeks of action. The timeline puts him on track to return before the conclusion of the Maple Leafs' regular season on April 13.
Maple Leafs captain John Tavares has also been ruled out of Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils with an unspecified illness.
O’Reilly suffered the injury when he took a shot off his hand during Saturday’s loss to the Vancouver Canucks and he left the ice in obvious discomfort.
Ryan O'Reilly took a shot off the hand pic.twitter.com/qOm1UjfgJI
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 5, 2023
Toronto's prized deadline acquisition has registered three goals and five points in eight games with the Maple Leafs since being acquired alongside Noel Acciari in a trade with the St. Louis Blues. The veteran forward exploded for a hat-trick against the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 21.
It would be a devastating loss for the Maple Leafs if O’Reilly is out long-term. The 32-year-old won the Selke Trophy and the Stanley Cup with the Blues in 2019 and provides the Leafs with tremendous lineup flexibility, as he's capable of playing either centre or wing while excelling in the faceoff dot and the penalty kill. Toronto is going all-in this season and O’Reilly’s playoff pedigree and two-way responsibility were major reasons why he was pursued heavily prior to the trade deadline.
O’Reilly has primarily played with Tavares, who shifted to the wing in order to accommodate the newest Maple Leafs star, with Mitch Marner and William Nylander alternating on the right flank.
As a result of O’Reilly’s injury, the Maple Leafs called up forwards Alex Steeves and Pontus Holmberg from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, while goaltender Joseph Woll was returned to the Marlies.