Linesman Ryan Jackson will return to the NHL lineup tonight after recovering from a knee injury.
The rookie official was injured on December 29 when the Florida Panthers hosted the Montreal Canadiens. Midway through the third period, Florida’s Marc Staal grabbed the Habs’ Joel Edmundson in a headlock. Jackson moved in to break them up, only to have his feet swept out from under him by the players’ sticks and skates as they wrestled on the ice.
Jackson reportedly suffered a disclocated knee cap on the play.
Jackson was helped off the ice and did not return. The game continued with Mark Shewchyk the lone linesman skating with refs Trevor Hanson and Steve Kozari.
The rookie official worked a few games in the AHL to prepare for his return. He took the ice in Hartford on Friday as the Wolf Pack hosted the Utica Comets, then in Springfield on Saturday for the Thunderbirds’ win over the Bridgeport Islanders.
He’ll be back in the show tonight, working in New Jersey as the Vancouver Canucks visit the Devils.
Jackson made his National Hockey League debut on October 30, 2022, working a game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild. His father is long-time NHL referee and current ESPN Rules Analyst Dave Jackson.
He has officiated 19 games this season, splitting time between the AHL and NHL.