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Jets' Ehlers returns after 19-game absence

Jonathan Kozub / National Hockey League / Getty

Nikolaj Ehlers returned Friday after a prolonged absence.

The Winnipeg Jets activated the speedy forward off long-term injured reserve and later inserted him into the lineup before their game against the Dallas Stars. The Jets placed forwards Cole Perfetti and Kristian Reichel on LTIR while reassigning winger Austin Poganski to the AHL in corresponding moves.

Ehlers sprained his MCL when Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov caught him with a knee-on-knee hit on Jan. 18. The Jets placed Ehlers on LTIR four days later. He was required to miss at least 10 games and 24 days as a result. The Danish winger ultimately sat out 19 contests.

The 26-year-old produced 13 goals and 12 assists over 34 games before the injury.

Ehlers is a key offensive contributor for the Jets. He posted nearly a point per game last season (46 in 47) and scored at least 20 goals in five of his six previous campaigns. Winnipeg drafted him ninth overall in 2014.

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