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Is Leon Draisaitl Suffering from a Nagging Unknown Injury?

Leon Draisaitl played his second-lowest number of minutes this season on Saturday, Is he dealing with an injury?

Leon Draisaitl Edmonton Oilers
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There have now been a couple reports that suggest Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl is dealing with some sort of issue or injury that has lowered his ice time and slowed his production over the past couple of games. The forward isn’t out with an injury and neither the team, nor the player have really commented in any sort of detail, but Saturday’s game seems to suggest something might be up.

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During the Saturday broadcast of the Oilers versus the Toronto Maple Leafs game, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman noted he’s got a hunch something might be bugging the German superstar. Friedman noticed that his ice time was down, and he didn’t look like his traditional dominant self.

On Saturday, Draisaitl played just 17:19, a number considerably lower than his past games this season. In fact, it’s nearly six minutes less ice time than Draisaitl played in a comeback win over the Vancouver Canucks one game earlier.

Ryan Rishaug of TSN also tweeted he’s getting the impression something is up. He said:

“Draisaitl sitting at 13:14 of ice time. He’s been missing some practices, and getting extra days off recently. Pretty clear he’s bothered by something right now, his usual explosiveness not quite there.”

Leon Draisaitl Edmonton Oilers
Leon Draisaitl Oilers forward

Tippett Acknowledges Draisaitl a Bit “Banged Up”

Perhaps Saturday’s game was just a case of the coach trying to limit the minutes of a player he knows is a bit sore. Head coach Dave Tippett did say “I don’t think it is anything that will keep him out of any games” but did note that his player was a bit banged up and he has let the center sit out a practice to rest recently.

It might be a situation worth keeping an eye on. Draisaitl isn’t going to want to come out of the lineup, so if he does, it’s something that’s really hampering him.

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