Tyrell's Tournament, Season, Junior Career Over
In the blink of an eye, Lightning prospect Dana Tyrell went from being on top of the junior hockey world - finally making Team Canada's WJC squad, being put on a line with expected leader John Tavares, leveling super-prospect Victor Hedman with a vicious check - to looking at knee surgery and months of rehab.
Several Canadian news outlets, including the Sun media, are reporting Tyrell is done for not only the tournament, but the year after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament and a partially tearing his medial collateral ligament. The center/winger will need surgery and was scheduled to return to his hometown of Airdrie, Alta., last night (Sunday).
"It's unfortunate and it's pretty disappointing," Tyrell told the Sun after the first period of the exhibition game between Canada and Finland. "I wish I could be out there with the guys. I just have to stay positive that things will work out."
After having surgery, Tyrell is expected to rejoin Team Canada to support his teammates from the press box during the medal round.
This news also puts the Prince George Cougars in a dire situation as they lose their captain and leading scorer. Word from the Prince George press on Saturday was Tyrell would likely have been used in a trade to a WHL contender next month to help replenish the talent surrounding up and coming star Brett Connolly in Prince George.
This was Tyrell's last year of junior hockey as, fortunately for him, he signed a professional contract with Tampa Bay before Canada's selection camp this month. Tyrell would have likely earned a contract anyway, but he can take some solace in knowing that his rehab is getting him ready for his professional career.
Tyrell sprained a knee last year before the WJC selection camp, but does not have a history of injuries that would indicate he's going to be an injury-risk moving forward.
As for Team Canada, they have called up Evander Kane of the Vancouver Giants to take Tyrell's spot, but as head coach Pat Quinn said, Tyrell, who will be greatly missed, is not being replaced.
"We wanted a Tyrell-type player," coach Pat Quinn told the Sun. "We don't have many in Canada, those who can play hockey and have a physical element.
"We're going to miss him. We did not replace him with the selection (Kane) we made."