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Jan 1, 2019; South Bend, IN: Chicago Blackhawks center David Kampf chases the puck with Boston Bruins center Joakim Nordstrom in the first period in the 2019 Winter Classic hockey game at Notre Dame Stadium.(Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

Jan 1, 2019; South Bend, IN: Chicago Blackhawks center David Kampf chases the puck with Boston Bruins center Joakim Nordstrom in the first period in the 2019 Winter Classic hockey game at Notre Dame Stadium.(Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

The Boston Bruins announced on Thursday that forward Joakim Nordstrom suffered a non-displaced fracture in his fibula. He will be out at least three weeks, then be re-evaluated at that point.

Nordstrom stayed in the Winter Classic for the Bruins until late in the third period. “Non-displaced” means his bone cracked but stayed in its proper alignment, so he apparently avoided what could have been an even worse injury.

Even with Patrice Bergeron back in the lineup, the Bruins’ depth at center is still being tested and it won’t get any easier with Nordstrom out of the lineup. Nordstrom also played wing when called upon, so they’ll likely need reinforcements there as well. Ryan Donato is likely to go back in; he appeared on the Bruins’ second line in practice on Thursday. As for the open roster spot, Anders Bjork was recently sent down to Providence and could be in line to come back up.

Other candidates to get the call from the AHL include Anton Blidh, Peter Cehlarik, and Jordan Szwarz. Top prospect Trent Frederic (eight points in 26 games with Providence) likely needs more seasoning before getting a real shot at the NHL.

Nordstrom (seven points in 39 games) hasn’t been an offensive contributor for the Bruins this season anyway. But he did give them size, toughness, and versatility, as well as particularly good penalty-killing. They should be able to find a way to replicate most of his skill set while he’s out. But it only underlines the need for the Bruins’ younger forwards to step up their game compared to how it’s gone for much of the season.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.