Tri-City Americans goaltender Eric Comrie, a top prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft, will miss the remainder of the season due to a hip injury.
Comrie told the Tri-City Herald that he will have surgery Feb. 5 in Colorado and will be out for 3-4 months.
"It [stinks] right now," Comrie told the newspaper. "It is better to do it [surgery] while it is minor. The doctors say I will be more flexible, have better range of motion and be pain-free.
"We [Comrie and his parents] sat down and talked about it and decided this would the best course of action. I have to move forward and next year I will be 100 percent. It's really hard to leave. We've really become a family. This is the closest team I have ever been on."
Comrie is No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American goalies for this year's draft. In 37 games this season, he is 20-14-3 with a 2.62 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and two shutouts.
"This is a devastating blow to our team," Tri-City coach Bob Tory told the newspaper, "but we will get through this. We have to look after the athlete first and the team second. We have to do the right thing by him. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. I feel worse for Eric. It's his draft year. He's learning the ups and downs of sports at a young age."
Comrie said his hip initially began bothering him early in the season and got worse in November when he played for Team WHL at the Subway Super Series. He played through the pain, earning an invitation to the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. However, he hasn't played since Jan. 9 and had to pass on the Top Prospects Game opportunity.
While scouts will miss out on a half season of watching him, Comrie doesn't feel the injury will affect his draft standing.
"The scouts have seen me play," he said. "By the draft I should be healthy."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK