After learning that Kris Versteeg would be out a few weeks, the Calgary Flames have recalled Hunter Shinkaruk from the Stockton Heat. Versteeg was injured was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury that he suffered last night, giving Shinkaruk a chance with the big club.
A former first-round pick by the Vancouver Canucks, Shinkaruk was traded to the Flames this February in exchange for Markus Granlund. The winger is off to a great start in the AHL this season with eight points in seven contests. After making his NHL debut last season he’ll try to show that he belongs full time at this level.
For Versteeg, it’s exactly the reason he was only able to score PTO’s this year. For a talented forward who has always been able to put up points, he’s never been able to stay consistently healthy or in the lineup. While he hasn’t suffered a huge setback in a few years, he’s often out with nagging injuries for at least a few games each year. It’s clear he can contribute offensively – he’s scored at least 35 points in almost every one of his seasons – but disappears on occasion and can’t be relied on as core piece.
The Flames have broken up their dynamic duo of Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau, but perhaps injecting a little more youth in the form of Shinkaruk can spark their offense. He scored 51 points in 62 AHL games last year, and is still just 22-years old.