Junior forward Zach Boychuk underwent successful surgery this afternoon to remove a pin from his wrist. Due to the procedure, which followed up on the one he had in July, Boychuk will have to wait an additional two weeks before he’s cleared for contact.
That’s unfortunate for both the Canes and Boychuk, as he was on the verge of being cleared for contact from his last surgery and thus being able to appear in an exhibition game. Before the doctor decided today’s procedure was necessary, the Canes were hoping he would be able to play this past Sunday against Philadelphia.
So, what to do with Boychuk? Another two weeks puts us just a few days short of opening night on October 10 and a few days too late to play in the final exhibition on October 5. Although Rutherford says the Canes are actively trying to sign him to an NHL contract, making it possible for him to stick with the team, the Canes haven’t decided what they’ll do just yet.
“We haven’t made a final decision,” said Rutherford
. “We’d like to get [his contract] done and then we’ll make the ultimate decision here within a week.”
The decision to send an injured 18-year-old back to his junior team would be a no-brainer if Boychuk hadn’t impressed the team so much with his raw talent in camp. Originally brought in just to take in the experience of an NHL camp, Boychuk’s wrist healed fast enough so that he was able to shoot and stickhandle sooner than expected.
Since then, he’s been making the team think long and hard about what to do with him.
“There’s things that he was doing in practice after having the surgery that guys can’t do in their whole careers,” said Rutherford. “Everybody really likes him, and he certainly shows a high skill level.”