Ryan Culkin Reportedly Out 6-8 Weeks With Shoulder Injury

We’ve received updates on injured prospects at the Young Stars Classic, and one of them is not good.

Per reports from Penticton, defenseman Ryan Culkin is out for awhile.

It’s pretty awful news for a player that missed the final two months of the American Hockey League season with a wrist tendon injury. Now, he’s not likely to hit the ice for the Stockton Heat until November, and will miss the entirety of Flames main camp. Culkin had 18 points in 37 games for the Baby Flames last season, and was a dark horse candidate for a job with the big club this season given how well he performed in the AHL.

The loss of Culkin for the first chunk of the season may make things a bit simpler for a few “tweener” bodies on the blueline. In addition to a few players that are definitely playing pro – Brett Kulak, Kenney Morrison, Jakub Nakladal, Patrick Sieloff, Dustin Stevenson and Tyler Wotherspoon – and Ryan Wilson, who could be a candidate for an AHL gig, the Flames have Keegan Kanzig and Oliver Kylington who are both eligible for either pro or WHL duties. Losing Culkin for two months potentially opens up a job for one of them on the AHL club. However, as they say, there’s a lot of baseball left to play before rosters start to firm up, so we’ll have to keep an eye on that storyline.

In other updates, per our friends in Penticton:

  • Morgan Klimchuk and Oliver Kylington, nursing minor injuries, skated today and may play tomorrow against Vancouver.
  • Jon Gillies will start and play the first two periods against Vancouver, while try-out netminder Nick Schneider will play the third period.
  • Sam Bennett will be a healthy scratch tomorrow against Vancouver.
    • ChinookArchYYC

      Personally I thought it was pretty clear management was putting out other kids (i.e. Mangiapanne) versus the Bennett line to see what they could do. Of course I have no inside info but I haven’t seen or heard of anything to suggest otherwise so that is what I’m going with

      Bennett was never going to play 3 games so not playing tomorrow is a total non-issue. There are lots of other kids invited that need ice time to see what they can do.

      Hopefully we get to see Klimchuck and Kylington again and their injuries are nothing significant.

    • everton fc

      Kanzig will never play an NHL game..he simply lacks NHL speed. Unfortunately I’m thinking same for Hunter Smith…players that size are unlikely able to play in today’s NHL..the speed is overwhelming for them!

      • ChinookArchYYC

        At the risk of piling on, Kanzig’s sole attribute is size. An NHL player needs at least 1 of the following assets for an NHL career: speed, skill, Hockey IQ. If he has one of those NHL level skills, then and only then is size an asset.

        It was a Hail Mary draft pick for a big time reward. Most of the time Hail Mary’s don’t work. I’m comfortable saying he’s a career AHLer, at this point.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      I’ve really like Culkin for the last couple of years now, and it’s a tough break for the kid. That said, I don’t see much room on Flames blueline for any of the youngsters (including Wotherspoon) until next year.

      If Ryan Wilson is truely healthy, and can get back to his level of play from 2 seasons ago, I expect him to push Engelland to popcorn row.

      If Wilson isn’t good enough, I’m looking for Nakaladal, or Morrison to step in as a #6-7.

      • everton fc

        Kulak has looked as good as Morrison, in my opinion. And I think Kanzig may never get past the ECHL. He simply looks lost almost every shift, and continues to take dumb penalties, many due to his being fundamentally “maladroit”

        I didn’t think Smith looked as clumsy and awkward as Kanzig.

        Culkin will recover, rehabilitate in Stockton, and be ready to push for a spot next season. I think he will be a very decent player someday. His injury and Kanzig’s glaring deficiencies give a guy like Eric Roy a chance to make either the ECHL or AHL affiliates. Probably the former. Seiloff’s another who’s time appears to be short here. He never stands out. And I find him a likeable kid.


    • everton fc

      I agree that he looked pretty good in the game and a bit he played. But did he really have a chance to see real NHL time this season?

      Barring injury, I would have thought there was a bunch of names ahead of his. Engelland, Smid possibly, Nakladal, and maybe Morrison or even Kylington.

      I hope Culkin isn’t as hurt as it sounds and that he gets better. I just don’t see this year being his year.

  • everton fc

    Also… On the backend… I could see the quad of Gio, Brodie, Hamilton and Russell back there for a while. It’s a nice core. Russell is probably best in a 5/6 role. Ideally.

  • everton fc

    Further to the point about Culkin, above, there would be no reason to rush any of these young defencemen.

    The Flames will have Gio, Brodie and Hamilton for the next 6 years, barring trade. We have 2 more years of Engelland, Smid and Wideman, barring trade (including demotion), buyout or retirement. The only slot that might be available without the Flames spending a ton is Russells and I think they hang onto him for the next little bit. How many of Calgary’s “best” current defence prospects do you really think will play 200 gaves in the NHL?

    These guys should be pushing now butmore realistically have a chance of making the squad in 2016-17 or the year after that. If they are ready now, great. Either they push for a role or they have turned themselves into an asset and have given themselves a better chance to play elsewhere. Either way, that’s good for the Flames.