The Ottawa Senators have been dealt a sorry blow before the regular season has even begun with the news that Christian Wolanin is out for four months.
Ottawa Senators defenceman Christian Wolanin will be out for at least four months after suffering a torn labrum in his left shoulder before the start of the team’s training camp.
The injury is a sore blow for both the player and the organisation, with the American blueliner looking ready to stick around with the NHL roster on a permanent basis after making 30 regular appearances in 2018/19.
The left-handed defenceman has looked good in the 40 total regular-season appearances he has made for the organisation since making his debut in the 2017/18 season.
After an exceptionally strong season with the Belleville Senators of the AHL, where he registered 31 total points (seven goals, 24 assists), Wolanin earned a respectable 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in the NHL.
Wolanin looked certain to lock up a spot on the team’s left side in D.J. Smith’s first season in charge, but will now be unlikely to see the ice until around January – allowing someone else to earn a spot for at least half a season in the process.
This could pave the way for Erik Brannstrom to stick around with the NHL team out of training camp, with the Sens’ best young defensive prospect looking to take his development to the next level.
If Brannstrom can impress in what will likely be a bottom-pairing role to start the season, the loss of Wolanin will be far more palatable for Ottawa Senators fans, who had expected him to also take the next steps in his own progression.
At 23-years-old, the son of former Stanley Cup champion Craig Wolanin will likely play an important role for the organisation over the coming years, with the blueline an area that clearly appears to be the focus going forward.
Missing half a season due to an unfortunate slip on ice will no doubt see Wolanin spend a spell in Belleville to regain his fitness and confidence before he can step back up into the NHL.
What do you think of this disappointing news Sens fans? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!