Rantanen skates with Avalanche for first time in Phase 2

Rantanen skates with Avalanche for first time in Phase 2

Mikko Rantanen skated with the Colorado Avalanche for the first time since the beginning of Phase 2 of the NHL Return to Play Plan at Pepsi Center on Monday.

The forward sustained an upper-body injury Feb. 17 when he was tripped by Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak and appeared to be holding his left shoulder while leaving the ice. Rantanen was projected to be out for weeks before the season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

Rantanen scored 41 points (19 goals, 22 assists) in 42 games. He missed 16 games with an ankle injury (Oct. 25-Nov. 29).

The Avalanche were 42-20-8 (.657 points percentage) and will enter the Stanley Cup Qualifiers as one of the top four teams in the Western Conference. They will play a round-robin against the St. Louis Blues (42-19-10, .662), Vegas Golden Knights (39-24-8, .606) and Dallas Stars (37-24-8, .594) to determine seeding in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The start date and hub city have not been determined.

Provided health and safety conditions allow and the NHL and NHL Players’ Association reach an agreement on Phases 3 and 4 of the Return to Play Plan, training camps will open July 10.

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