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Blackhawks’ Tyler Johnson Likely to Return Thursday vs. Oilers

Johnson played in just eight early-season games before a neck injury led to artificial disc replacement surgery.

Tyler Johnson Blackhawks
Photo: NHL.com

It’s been an unconventional first season in Chicago for Tyler Johnson. The forward played in just eight early-season games for the Blackhawks before a neck injury sidelined him. He underwent artificial disc replacement surgery in December and has been working his way back since. Now, the Blackhawks expect Johnson to make his return to game action on Thursday against the Oilers.

In those eight games prior to his injury, Johnson recorded three points (one goal, two assists). The 31-year-old will surely look to get back to his scoring ways upon re-entering the lineup. Across his 10-year NHL career, Johnson has 364 points (162 goals, 202 assists) in 597 games.

A longtime member of the Lightning, Johnson came to the Blackhawks in an offseason trade that sent Brent Seabrook’s contract to Tampa Bay. Chicago hoped to add a scoring touch to its forward group by acquiring Johnson, but the early-season injury put those plans on hold temporarily.

Regardless, Tyler Johnson’s return is a positive development for the Blackhawks. Lacking effective depth scoring this season, Chicago has a top-heavy stat sheet with Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Seth Jones, and Brandon Hagel leading the way. Those four players are the only Blackhawks with 30-plus points this season.

Chicago has one more game on the schedule prior to Johnson’s projected return date. The St. Louis Blues come to town Sunday afternoon before the Blackhawks host Edmonton on Thursday night. If all goes as planned, that contest against the Oilers will be Johnson’s first time lacing up the skates for game action since Oct. 29, 2021.

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BS-Broadcast Journalism - University of Illinois 2016 | Editor-in-Chief at OnTapSportsNet.com | Panelist on Four Feathers Podcast and Sox On Tap

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