WINNIPEG - Ivan Telegin got into a fight with a Russian fence, and lost.
One of the Winnipeg Jets’ top prospects, Telegin hasn’t been on the ice for this week’s development camp because he suffered a freak off-season accident in which his hand was sliced open while he was home in Russia.
The Jets say the gash required more than one surgery and will keep the speedy 20-year-old from full on-ice training until late this summer.
“From the last medical reports I had, somewhere around September he should have full clearance,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said, Thursday. “I believe there were some surgical procedures that were needed, internally, outside of just sewing it up.”
The Jets say all they know about the accident is that it involved Telegin getting his hand caught in a fence. They first became aware of it when Telegin’s agent disclosed it at the draft.
“We got him in here as quickly as possible after that,” Cheveldayoff said. “It really singles out how quickly things can change for an individual or an organization. You just have to be ready to roll with the punches. We’re thankful the injury has been dealt with. It’s under our care now.”
Cheveldayoff said doctors are cautious with hand cuts to hockey players because of the risk of infection from contact with sweaty gloves that may carry bacteria.
Along with Mark Scheifele, his linemate with the OHL’s Barrie Colts last season, Telegin is one of the few prospects with a legitimate chance to make the NHL in the fall.
The 20-year-old, a 6-foot-4, 185-pounder, is coming off a junior season that saw him score 35 goals, 29 assists, in 46 games, adding another five goals and nine assists in 13 playoff games.
Injuries limited his playing time in Barrie and with Team Russia at the World Junior Championship, and he’d already had minor knee surgery this off-season.
The Jets aren’t sure if the hand injury and time off this summer will set back his development.
“His place will happen on the ice,” Cheveldayoff said. “He obviously made great strides last year. The fact he’s not able to participate on-ice right now, it’s certainly disappointing.”
A fourth-round pick of the Atlanta Thrashers in 2010, Telegin has taken part in off-ice activities with the prospects this week.
“You always try to look at the bright side,” Cheveldayoff said. “He’s had an opportunity to spend a lot of time here, become really accustomed to Winnipeg, the North American culture. His English has improved by leaps and bounds.”
The local media couldn’t get confirmation of that, as the Jets turned down requests to make him available.