Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is making sure he's healthy before playing in the World Junior championship (David Maxwell, Getty Images).
According to his agent, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins wants to represent his country.
But before the Edmonton Oilers centre can join Team Canada, he’ll have to make sure his shoulder is healthy enough to take part in the tournament.
For that reason, Nugent-Hopkins is on his way back to Edmonton to get an evaluation, having spent the NHL lockout with the Oilers AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City.
“It’s just precautionary, they’re just having a look,” said Nugent-Hopkins’ agent Rick Valette. “He had an AC separation last winter and we just want to make sure that everything is exactly where we need it to be. With our young athletes it’s the right thing to do and it’s the right thing to do for the Oilers too.”
Nugent-Hopkins has eight goals and 12 assists in 19 games for the Oklahoma City Barons this season. He’s currently third in team scoring behind defenceman Justin Schultz and Jordan Eberle.