Brendan Gaunce

Vancouver first-rounder Gaunce separates shoulder


For the second straight day, an NHL club saw one of its prized prospects go down to a shoulder injury.

That’s the news out of Vancouver on Tuesday as Brendan Gaunce — the Canucks’ first-round pick at the 2012 draft — suffered a separated shoulder while playing for OHL Belleville.

The injury will reportedly keep him sidelined for 3-6 weeks.

Gaunce’s shoulder separation comes roughly 24 hours after the New York Islanders learned defensive prospect Calvin de Haan would be lost for the year with a shoulder injury of his own.

De Haan was hurt over the weekend playing for AHL Bridgeport and suffered his third — and most severe — shoulder injury over the last three years.

While the news isn’t as bad for Gaunce, the ailment derails what was an otherwise solid start to the year. The Belleville captain had nine points in his first 11 games, helping the Bulls get off to a 7-3-1 start.

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”