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

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…

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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…

  • “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.

  • @NM00

    Remember that the NHL-CHL agreement is sealed but I believe you have to turn 20 before December 31st of the season in question to be eligible to compete in the AHL (if you were drafted out of the CHL like both Shinkaruk/Ceci were). Or in other words, depending on what the Canucks and Shinkaruk decide is best for his development: his major junior career could well be over.

    • 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…

  • andyg

    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!