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.
Culkin has a shoulder injury. Coach Huska says out 6-8 weeks. #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) September 13, 2015
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.