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Blue Jackets rookie C Adam Fantilli expected to miss eight weeks after being cut with a skate

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Adam Fantilli, left, passes the puck in front of Seattle Kraken forward Yanni Gourde during the second period NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Columbus Blue Jackets rookie center Adam Fantilli is expected to miss eight weeks after being cut on the left calf with a skate blade in Sunday's game at Seattle.

The injury to the 19-year-old Fantilli, announced by the team on Wednesday, is the latest blow for the last-place Blue Jackets. On Sunday, they announced that forward Patrik Laine is entering the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. Laine will be away from the team indefinitely while he receives care from the joint program.

Laine, who was counted on as one of the team's top scoring threats, hasn’t played since breaking his left clavicle during a game in mid-December. Because of injury, he has been limited to 18 games and recorded six goals and three assists.

Fantilli is among the NHL's top rookies this season and the third leading scorer on the team with 12 goals and 15 assists. He's tied for third in goals and is fourth in points among all rookies. He also ranks second among first-year players with 115 shots on goal.

The Nobleton, Ontario, native was selected by Columbus with the third overall pick at the 2023 NHL Draft.

The Blue Jackets return to action after the All-Star break on Feb. 10 when they host Tampa Bay.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL