Ryan Pulock just can’t get a break these days.
Or, more accurately, can’t avoid them.
The Brandon Wheat Kings captain is expected to be sidelined for the next two weeks after cracking a bone in his hand during Tuesday’s 7-2 loss to the Calgary Hitmen.
The injury will also prevent the first-round candidate for this year’s National Hockey League Entry Draft from playing in the Canadian Hockey League Top Prospects game Wednesday in Halifax.
"I was pretty excited about heading out to Halifax and getting the opportunity to play in the game and this injury definitely makes it pretty disappointing," said Pulock, who will be replaced in the game by defenceman Jordan Subban of the Ontario Hockey League’s Belleville Bulls. "But I think right now the only thing I can do is stay focused in my recovery and stay positive."
Pulock, 18, is eighth among WHL defencemen in scoring, with 31 points in 37 games, despite some hard luck this season. He’s worn a full facemask since being hit by a shot and suffering facial fractures in November.
While frustrated to be injured again, the Grandview native is not worried that missing out on the draft showcase will affect his stock among NHL scouts.
"I think the Prospects Game is just one little tiny step towards the draft," said Pulock, whose teammate Eric Roy will represent the Wheat Kings in Halifax. "I don’t think me not being there is going to affect where I go or whatever. … I think right now it’s just (important to be) focused on getting healthy and getting back to my game here in Brandon."