After missing the final month of the regular season with a shoulder injury, Canucks forward Brendan Gaunce will undergo surgery Thursday, the club announced.
“Brendan sustained a shoulder injury in March and has been working closely with our medical team,” said GM Jim Benning in a statement.
“After a period of rehabilitation and observation, Brendan and our medical team have deemed, that based on his response to treatment, the best course of action is to undergo surgery for injury management and preparation for next season.”
Gaunce, 23, last played on March 9. In 57 games, he recorded five assists, going the entire season without scoring a goal. To his credit, he did have the highest Corsi For rating (51.3 per cent) among Canucks players with 400 minutes or more at five-on-five.
The Canucks didn’t announce a timeline for recovery, but it appears to be lengthy, according to Ben Kuzma of The Province newspaper.
That procedure will be performed Thursday in Vancouver and depending on severity of the tear, the 23-year-old centre-turned-winger could be sidelined from four to six months. Professional athletes recover quicker and the best prognosis for Gaunce would be a four-month recovery window and then ramping up his training and skating a month before main camp in Vancouver.
Gaunce is a pending restricted free agent, at the end of his entry-level contract that has an annual cap hit of just over $863,000.
It’s been widely reported in Vancouver that Gaunce could be a potential target for the Vegas Golden Knights in June’s expansion draft, although this development — and the reported timeline — could make him a less desirable option.