Murray suffered the injury last Friday at Victoria. Everett coach Mark Ferner wouldn't speculate on how long Murray will be out, because part of that depends on what is found during surgery. But poking around a bit indicates recovery time from labrum surgery is typically three to five months. That means Murray is all but out for Canada's team for the World Junior Hockey Championships, and his junior career could also be over.
What a tough break for Murray. He wasn't even supposed to be playing in the WHL this season, as conventional wisdom said he'd be in the NHL suiting up with the Columbus Blue Jackets after being selected second overall in the NHL draft in June. But the NHL lockout put that on hold, and now this. All the accounts I've been told about the incident that caused the injury said it was just a freak accident, too.
It's a bitter blow for the Tips as well, who now have to forge ahead without their best player. It had already been rough season for Everett on the injury front as key player after key player found himself on the sidelines. But this is as big as it gets. That said, Everett wasn't expecting to have Murray at all this season, and sooner or later the Tips were going to have to learn how to play without him. This makes that sooner rather than later.
Here's wishing Ryan a speedy recovery, and hopefully we'll get another chance to see him lace up his skates in the Dub.
In less gloomy news, Tips winger Joshua Winquist (mono) was back on the ice at practice today. He won't play Wednesday at Spokane, but Ferner said he could be ready to return this weekend. He's been out since Oct. 20, missing 12 games, and he's still tied for the team lead in goals with eight. Winger Ryan Harrison remains week-to-week with a slight meniscus tear in his knee.
Elsewhere, the NHL's Central Scouting Service released its preliminary rankings for the 2013 NHL draft, with two Silvertips among the 32 players listed. Defenseman Mirco Mueller was ranked seventh among WHL skaters, meaning his stock is on the rise. Goaltender Austin Lotz was ranked fourth among WHL goalies. The top-ranked WHLer? None other than former Everett draft pick and current Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones.
Also, Tips rookie winger Dawson Leedahl was named to Team West for the U-17 World Hockey Challenge, which takes place Dec. 29-Jan. 4 in Victoriaville and Drummondville, Quebec. Team West includes the top 16-year-olds from Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Also selected to the team was Tips prospect defenseman Justin Baudry, who is playing for the Steinbach Pistons of the MJHL. Tips forwards Tyler Sandhu and Ty Mappin were selected for Team Pacific last week.
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