With the Canadiens preparing themselves for the 2011 NHL draft, their future was dealt a tough blow when their 2009 first round pick, Louis Leblanc had arthroscopic shoulder surgery, and will be out 4-6 months. As reported by Renaud Lavoie of RDS, the procedure was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Florida.
Most believe that Leblanc originally sustained the injury late in November, in a game versus the Drakkars of Baie-Comeau of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and was subsequently out of the Montreal Juniors’ lineup for the next five games. He returned to play in early December.
Leblanc was one of Team Canada’s most dominent forwards at this past December’s World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo. He finished the tournament with 7 points (3G – 4A), along with the 58 points he collected in the QMJHL regular season.
There were time, however, when his ability to shoot the puck was questioned, as he was reluctant to shoot and pass the puck instead. Some had originally attributed this to a stronger checking presence around on the CHL’s strongest players. Unfortunately that was not the case.
With the 4-6 month timeline, it is almost certain that Leblanc will miss the Montreal Canadiens’ training camp this September, and is expected to report to the Hamilton Bulldogs in November. This first major injury in the youngster’s career will certainly establish his intestinal fortitude, and his ability to get healthy.
Good luck, Louis.