In their first practice after the NHL All-Star break, Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud skated in a regular practice jersey yet again. Whitecloud has missed the last 21 games with a lower-body injury sustained on Dec. 11th at home against the Boston Bruins.
Boston winger Taylor Hall accidentally fell on Whitecloud's left leg, and nearly two months later, Whitecloud is nearing a return.
The Golden Knight's next game will be Tuesday against the Nashville Predators on the road at 5:00 p.m. If Whitecloud is able to return, the VGK will get their defense corps back to the original configuration from the beginning of the season.
Only Mark Stone and Daniil Miromanov remain on the injured list.
On Feb. 1, the Golden Knights announced that captain Mark Stone had successful back surgery and will be out indefinitely. Outside of the captain, who is, of course, a major piece for the Golden Knights, the VGK are only missing Miromanov, who likely would not make it into the top-six defensemen with fully-healthy D-corps.
As the Golden Knights enter the stretch run to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, having a nearly fully healthy team will be critical to ensure last season's injury-filled collapse which cost the team a playoff berth doesn't happen again.
Updated Projected Golden Knights Lines
Paul Cotter- Jack Eichel- Jonathan Marchessault
Reilly Smith- William Karlsson- Michael Amadio
Will Carrier- Chandler Stephenson- Phil Kessel
Brett Howden- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar
Alec Martinez- Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore
Nicolas Hague- Zach Whitecloud
Logan Thompson/Adin Hill
Mark Stone, Daniil Miromanov/Ben Hutton
Shea Weber, Nolan Patrick, Robin Lehner