Laine was injured in Saturday’s 4-3 loss in Buffalo. The 18-year-old sniper was looking down at the puck when Buffalo’s Jake McCabe hit him with his right shoulder. McCabe was not penalized for the hit. Laine appeared to hit the back of his head on the ice as he fell and was down for several minutes before being helped to his feet.
“He’s got a concussion,” said head coach Paul Maurice on Sunday. “Tested out last night, see doctors again today. He’ll start the stages of recovery with that, we’ll wait until the symptoms subside and then you start increasing the workload and then get back on the ice.”
Laine leads the NHL in rookie scoring with 21 goals and 16 assists, two more than points than Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews. He was selected second overall in the 2016 draft. Maurice said there’s no timetable for Laine’s return to the ice.
“There can’t be on any of these,” said Maurice. “We’ve had players this season that have gone through it, there’s no timeline.”
Drew Stafford will be bumped up to a line with Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers. Chris Thorburn will draw back into the lineup in Stafford’s old spot on the fourth line.
Stafford has three goals and four assists this season, but he finished with 21 goals and 17 assists in the 2015-16 campaign.