Ottawa Senators forward Austin Watson will miss four-to-six weeks with a hand injury, head coach DJ Smith announced Wednesday.
Watson was injured his thumb blocking a shot in Monday's win over the Calgary Flames.
Without knowing the severity of the injury on Tuesday, Smith said Watson would be a massive loss for the team.
“Huge,” Smith said, per the Ottawa Sun. “You see how hard he works. That’s one of the guys Pierre (Dorion's) brought in here that has really pushed the character of this group, the work ethic, what’s expected to be a pro in the NHL, the day-to-day, the sacrifice and the way he sacrifices his body for the team … Just the whole thing.
“The defensive zone starts, the not playing when you’re down by a goal, all the things he does without complaining. That’s exactly what you want for a young team to learn from. It’ll certainly hurt if he’s out any significant amount of time.”
The 29-year-old has three goals and seven points in 33 games with the Senators this season, his first with the team.
A first-round pick of the Nashville Predators in 2010, Watson carries a cap hit $1.5 million through the 2022-23 season.