Vancouver Canucks prospect and Medicine Hat Tigers captain Hunter Shinkaruk will undergo hip surgery in early January.
Med Hat Tigers forward and Canucks prospect Hunter Shinkaruk will have surgery in early January to repair his hip.
— Kelly Friesen (@KellyFriesen) December 27, 2013
The 19 year old winger will need four-to-six months of rehabilitation and is projected to miss the rest of the season. In a best case scenario, there’s a chance Shinkaruk could return in mid-May should the Tigers advance to the Memorial Cup, but it’s unlikely.
Shinkaruk will finish the 2013-14 season with five goals and 16 points in 18 games in what is expected to be his final season of junior hockey. Because he turns 20 years old before December 31, 2014, Shinkaruk will be eligible to turn professional next season and join the Canucks minor league affiliate, the Utica Comets.
Next September, the Canucks could assign Shinakruk back to juniors for another season, but as a 20-year-old player, the first year of his three-year entry-level contract will kick in. The Canucks won’t be able to to recall him from juniors until the end of the season either.
Best guess is Shinkaruk’s junior career is over. The Canucks will likely want him to turn pro next season and play with the Comets, which will allow them to keep a closer tab on his development.