It's not quite “wait until next year” for the Vancouver Canucks, unless you're elite prospect Hunter Shinkaruk.
The 19-year-old left-winger is recovering from major hip surgery and will not be back this season no matter how far the Medicine Hat Tigers, his junior team, advance in the Western Hockey League playoffs. So for him it's rehab, to be followed by regular off-season training, to be followed by an attempt to make the big club next fall.
He played just 18 games for the Tigers in 2013-14, a lot of those in pain, but isn't bitter about having almost an entire season pulled from beneath him. The Canucks selected Shinkaruk in the first round, 24th overall, in last June's NHL entry draft.
“I mean, there are a lot worse things than to get hip surgery and recover,” Shinkaruk said Wednesday while in Vancouver to see team doctors. “I've kind of told myself, in the days where it sucks not being on the ice, there are people going through a lot worse things in the world than I am. I'm ...