Jakub Vrana will undergo shoulder surgery, missing a minimum of four months, Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Thursday.
Vrana, who arrived at training camp late after a visa issue, aggravated his shoulder after about 10 minutes on the ice. After seeing a specialist, it was determined that surgery would be the best course of action.
The 25-year-old winger had given a spark to the Red Wings' offense after arriving from the Washington Capitals last year at the trade deadline. In 11 games with the Red Wings, Vrana had eight goals and three assists.
"He's a guy that, going into the season, we had him penciled in in some big roles and opportunities to score goals for us," Blashill said. "Certainly we'd be a better squad today as we stand if he was healthy and ready to go. But he's not and that's just the reality of life."
Video: Jeff Blashill | Morning Skate | 9/30 BUF
With Vrana out, an opportunity opens for someone to seize a spot in the top six, and the roster logjam gets a bit easier to navigate for wingers on the bubble, such as Bobby Ryan and Lucas Raymond. Ryan scored the game-tying goal in Detroit's preseason opener at the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.
"We've talked a lot about a guy like Bobby Ryan or Lucas Raymond or Joe Veleno, do they make the team?" Blashill said. "Does it get any easier - is there a more direct avenue, with two young guys I've talked about lots, they're gonna have to play great. Bobby's gonna have to play great. But if they play great, there's an avenue for him."
Raymond makes his preseason debut on Thursday night against the Buffalo Sabres.
"Lucas, he just needs to play his game," Blashill said. "We talked the other day about that he's a really smart player, he's good with the puck, he can make a lot of plays. He needs to make sure he has the puck a lot. And how do you have the puck a lot? Either you get in the right spots, you work to get open or you get it. And you play good defense to make sure you're not defending all night."