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Tucson Roadrunners: Laurent Dauphin, Nick Merkley out for the season

Both players sustained lower body injuries in the past month

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

In a tough break for the Tucson Roadrunners and Arizona Coyotes, general Manager John Chayka has announced that forwards Laurent Dauphin and Nick Merkley will be out for the remainder of the season.

Both players were set to make big contributions to the Tucson Roadrunners come the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Merkley suffered a lower body injury in the Roadrunners’ series with the San Jose Barracuda last week. He had to be helped off the ice and taken back to the locker room. As per organization policy, no further information was provided other than that he had a lower body injury.

Dauphin, meanwhile, suffered his lower body injury while playing with the Arizona Coyotes earlier this month. Silence regarding the status of his injury caused lots of skepticism regarding the severity of his injury. But, now that the silence has broken, it has become clear he will not be coming back.

Merkley also sustained an upper body injury earlier this season and was kept out for several weeks as a precautionary measure for the Roadrunners. In his rookie season with Tucson, Merkley skated in 38 games and scored 39 points, the second highest among Tucson Roadrunners rookies— just behind Dylan Strome (50) — and 11th among AHL rookies. He continues to lead the Roadrunners in power play goals (22).

Dauphin was drafted by the Coyotes in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He previously spent time with his junior team, the Chicoutimi Saguenéens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, before making his NHL Debut in 2015-2016 — and later assigned to the AHL. Dauphin was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks after the conclusion of the 2016-2017 season, but was re-acquired in a trade earlier this year.

In his 17 games with the Tucson Roadrunners this year, Dauphin has recorded 5 goals and 10 assists.

What this means

The Roadrunners are going to have to make due without either player in their chase for the Calder Cup, but they should be just fine.

While the team lost two key players, they have a lot of depth in their roster with players such as Dylan Strome, Michael Bunting, Carter Camper, and Mike Sislo.

So there’s no reason to panic yet.

Follow Robby Leano on Twitter @RobLeano1