By Ryan McCracken on September 11, 2017.
The Medicine Hat Tigers could be without Mason Shaw to start the Western Hockey League season.
The 19-year-old playmaker suffered a right knee injury while competing with the Minnesota Wild at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament in Michigan. Heading into the corner to collect a loose puck during Saturday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Shaw went down awkwardly and couldn’t get back up.
“I caught a rut in the corner and there was a bigger, heavier guy who kind of leaned on that leg,” said Shaw, who had to be helped off the ice. “I’ve got it wrapped up right now. There’s not a whole lot of pain from it, just a little discomfort, but as of right now I’m hobbling around on crutches.”
Shaw was given the option to return to Minnesota Sunday and undergo an MRI, or wait until the tournament concludes and return with the team. After being drafted at 97th overall in June’s NHL entry draft, Shaw says he opted to stick around and wait until Wednesday for the MRI, despite the discomfort.
“I’m not in a whole lot of pain, I’m enjoying being around the guys and the coaching staff has been great — and all the staff down here — so I chose to stay down here for a few more days to get more familiar with the guys and the staff. I’ll get re-evaluated on Wednesday when I get back,” said Shaw, adding he can put some weight on the injured leg. “I can hobble around on it a little bit, it’s for precautionary reasons that I’m on crutches — not to re-injure anything or make it worse.”
Tigers fans can take some solace in the fact it was Shaw’s right knee and not his left — which required surgery a few years ago and kept him out for the majority of the 2014-15 season.
While his prospects tournament ended early, Shaw still managed to make an impact with the Wild. After falling into a 5-1 deficit in Friday’s opener against the St. Louis Blues, Shaw and the Wild scored five unanswered goals in the third to steal away a 6-5 victory.
“I was a little nervous at first, but after the first period I got my feet underneath me. I felt really good in the second and third periods,” said Shaw, who recorded had two helpers in the comeback. “I got a couple assists on some goals late in the game and it was a lot of fun.”
Shaw added he still managed to soak up a great deal of experience alongside some of Minnesota’s top tier talent. The Wainwright product skated alongside 2015 20th overall pick Joel Eriksson Ek and fellow fourth rounder Adam Gilmour in Friday’s win before lining back up alongside Eriksson Ek and 2013 third round pick Ivan Lodnia in Saturday’s eventual 3-1 loss to Columbus.
“Those are a few guys who are projected to be in a lineup this year,” said Shaw. “I gained some great experience playing with those guys.”
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