An injury to Valentin Zykov in Carolina will result in yet another opportunity for a young Checkers forward.
The Carolina Hurricanes summoned rookie center Lucas Wallmark for the first time as they continue a busy schedule that should see the 21-year-old Swede make his NHL debut on the road against the New York Islanders on Monday. He will take the place of Zykov, who scored a goal in his own NHL debut on Thursday but suffered an upper-body injury on his first shift of his second game on Saturday.
Wallmark is coming off a three-point outing in Manitoba on Saturday, one that saw him move into a tie for second among all AHL rookies with 21 goals. The league’s Rookie of the Month for January, Wallmark has 23 points (13g, 10a) in 25 games since Jan. 7.
The move leaves the Checkers without two of their top three scorers during a crucial time of the season, though the timing could be worse. The Checkers, who last played Saturday, are off until they host the Ontario Reign at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Friday.