MEDICINE HAT, AB — Medicine Hat Tigers defenceman Joel Craven’s hockey career is likely over following a concussion he suffered earlier this month, according to Tigers head coach and general manager Shaun Clouston.
Craven was reported to have suffered an upper body injury in the Western Hockey League’s Weekly Report on Monday, which was listed as season-ending. Clouston confirmed on Thursday during a media availability that Craven suffered a concussion.
“I think it’s potentially career-ending,” he said. I really do. “I think that’s where Joel is at. I suppose there’s always an opportunity at some point in the future to change that, but I do believe that’s where Joel is at right now, that the risk is not worth it.”
Clouston says the concussion took place during the game against the Portland Winterhawks on February 10. Clouston says it is his third concussion he has suffered as a member of the Tigers in the past two years.
“He had a bad concussion on a tough hit last year, and this is his second one this year,” he said.
Clouston says Joel has been fighting hard to overcome his injuries.
“It’s obviously a very challenging situation,” he said. “I think for Joel, he battled hard, he wanted this. He faced some adversity with a ton of courage, and we fully respect where that’s at.”
Joel, the son of former Tiger Murray Craven, has four goals and seven assists in 65 career games.
Clouston says the Tigers recently called up Damon Agyeman, who will take Craven’s place on defence for the rest of the season.
Ostir close to returning
Clouston also confirmed Hayden Ostir, who suffered a knee injury on January 4, will likely be back in the lineup for Friday’s game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
“He went hard yesterday,” he said. “He’s been on the ice for a while now. If he feels good today after pushing it, and he went through a full practice, and had some contact, did some battle drills at the end. If he feels good today, we expect him to play.”
Clouston says Ostir will be playing on the third line with Corson Hopwo and Logan Christensen.
Forward Ryan Jevne is listed as week-to-week with an upper body injury. In the interim, Ryan Chyzowski will move up to take his place on the line with James Hamblin and Tyler Preziuso.
Bryan Lockner will take over Chyzowski’s spot on the second line with Elijah Brown and Brett Kemp.
The fourth line will feature Baxter Anderson, Nick McCarry and Jaxon Steele.
Clouston says Mads Søgaard will get the start for the Tigers on Friday in Lethbridge.
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