Just over 48 hours before their season opener, the Toronto Maple Leafs made some key roster announcements on Monday.
Meanwhile: TOR announces Auston Matthews will not play this week (3 games) with his wrist injury, and Ilya Mikheyev needs thumb surgery — out approximately 8 weeks.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 11, 2021
Keefe also set his goaltending structure for the first two games, saying Jack Campbell will start the opener before newcomer Petr Mrazek makes his Leafs debut in Ottawa against the Senators the next night.
Matthews, recovering from off-season wrist surgery, will miss at least the first three games of the season, Keefe said.
The reigning Rocket Richard Trophy winner has progressed significantly and started participating in his first contract drills earlier this month, but maintains his wrist is not quite where he wants it to be.
The recovery was estimated to take a minimum of six weeks. It has been just over eight so far.
Despite dealing with the nagging wrist injury last season, the 23-year-old scored 41 goals in 52 games.
Mikheyev broke his thumb in a pre-season game on Saturday. He’ll undergo surgery and be out about eight weeks.
This isn’t the first time Mikheyev has dealt with injuries. During the 2019-20 season, he missed a significant period of time after a skate blade caused a wrist laceration, which required immediate surgery.
The 27-year-old played 54 games during the 2020-21 season, where he recorded seven goals and 10 assists.
Campbell took over as starter from Frederik Andersen last year. He was 17-3-2 with a 2.15 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in the regular season before starting all seven games in the Leafs’ first-round loss to Montreal.
Mrazek signed a three-year, $11.4 million deal with the Leafs in the off-season. He was 6-2-3 with a 2.06 GAA and .923 save percentage last year with the Carolina Hurricanes.