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Jets' leading goal-scorer Connor set to return from injury

Kyle Connor Winnipeg Jets Kyle Connor - The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG — The surging Winnipeg Jets are getting one of their biggest offensive weapons back with the return of leading goal-scorer Kyle Connor.

The Jets announced Tuesday that the 27-year-old left-wing was available for Winnipeg's game that night against the visiting New York Islanders.

The update comes after Connor was a full participant in Winnipeg's practice Monday for the first time since sustaining an injury from a knee-on-knee hit by Ducks forward Ryan Strome in a 4-2 win at Anaheim on Dec. 10.

Despite missing more than a month of action, Connor remains the Jets' leading goal-scorer with 17 in 26 games.

The Jets, however, have excelled despite missing Connor's production. Winnipeg (28-10-4) went 12-2-2 in the winger's absence and entered Tuesday's game leading the Central Division and two points back of idle Vancouver for top spot in the Western Conference.

But the influx of offence will be welcome with leading scorer Mark Scheifele out day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

The Jets said Tuesday that Scheifele, who has 14 goals and 27 assists in 41 games, has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Friday to create a roster spot for Connor. He missed his first game of the season in the Jets' 2-0 loss to Philadelphia on Saturday that ended an eight-game winning streak.

Connor has 226 goals and 226 assists in 492 career games with the Jets since Winnipeg selected him 17th overall at the 2015 NHL draft.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2024.