Hunter Shinkaruk to undergo hip surgery, will miss the rest of the season

Thomas Drance
December 27 2013 12:08PM

There is some unfortunate but not entirely unexpected Canucks prospect injury news to sift through this Friday morning. Hobbled Canucks prospect Hunter Shinkaruk will undergo a surgical procedure this January and the highly-touted young sniper will miss the rest of the campaign as he convalesces. 

Read past the jump.

Obviously for the time being we don't have much information on Shinkaruk's hip ailment, but it has been known for a while that the Medicine Hat Tigers winger was playing through multiple injuries. Shinkaruk's production in Medicine Hat this season was extremely underwhelming and in many ways it's probably a positive thing for the forward's long-term development that he was a late cut from Canada's U20 team last week...

Shinkaruk was pretty clearly, understandably - and probably not all that wisely - determined to play through pain if it meant a chance to compete for his country at the World Junior Hockey Championships. But a young, undersized, skilled winger playing bravely and ineffectively through injury for a prolonged stretch reminds one of Anton Rodin's stagnant development path. That's really never a comparison you want to bandy about...

One thing I'd mention about Shinkaruk's hips is that they're unlike Shakira's - in that they lie. They lie often in fact, and to the shifty winger's benefit (when he's healthy at least). "His agility makes him tough to check in open ice," wrote friend of the blog Corey Pronman last Spring. "(Shinkaruk) turns his hips a lot, and his wide skating stance makes it difficult to predict where he will move."

Shinkaruk isn't the fastest skater, at least not in terms of raw speed. He compensates for it by being shifty as all get out, and using his lowerbody to trick defenders. It's a critical part of his game and certainly it's conceivable that a significant enough hip ailment could be primarily responsible for his offensive struggles this season. That's the positive spin on this news, at least. The fact is Shinkaruk's major junior production has been on the downswing for 18 months now...

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 NM00
December 27 2013, 12:41PM
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@Thomas Drance

Thanks.

In some ways, this isn't the worst time for a major injury to come up.

Whatever Shinkaruk is going to be in the NHL, I imagine being a star junior player for another season wouldn't change much.

He's already done that.

Time to see what he can do as a pro next fall I hope...

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#2 Kyle
December 27 2013, 12:14PM
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"The fact is Shinkaruk's major junior production has been on the downswing for 18 months now..."

He opened the season with a bang, before the injuries piled up. I'm more concerned will mean for long term development, as this is his last year of Junior.

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#3 NM00
December 27 2013, 12:23PM
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Considering he turns 20 next October, is he eligible to play in the AHL to begin next season?

Cody Ceci spent the early part of the season in Binghamton and he only turned 20 last week...

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#4 Matt
December 27 2013, 12:30PM
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"The fact is Shinkaruk's major junior production has been on the downswing for 18 months now..." But he did lose Emerson Etem as a linemate last year. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

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#6 Ryan B
December 27 2013, 05:41PM
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All the best to Hunter, hope that the kid has a quick recovery.

Would love to see him healthy at the 2014 Canucks training camp. I have him penciled in as the 2nd line left-winger with Kesler and Higgins next year.

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#7 Ted
December 27 2013, 05:55PM
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I wonder what the recovery time is. I am assuming he won't be at top health by summer so it may cost him a good look at Canuck camp. Don't rush him back and let him start in Utica might be the way to go.

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#8 JFR
December 28 2013, 04:18PM
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Shinkurak has really nothing to prove in the WHL and once the Juniors were out of the picture the time was right for surgery. No need to prove toughness and end up hurting something else and take training off the table. He will be in a Nucks uni next year so why not be totally healthy for the offseason. Look what a healthy off season has done for Kess!

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#9 andyg
December 28 2013, 09:03AM
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I am glad they are getting this done now. This will allow time for him to be ready for next season. We all have seen how hip troubles effected Kess.

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