Defenseman Derrick Pouliot, one of the Penguins’ top prospects, had shoulder surgery Wednesday and is expected to be out four to six months.
Defenseman Olli Maatta, coming off of a strong rookie season, also needs shoulder surgery, which will happen as early as today.
The two players were chosen by the Penguins in the first round of the 2012 NHL draft, Pouliot eighth overall and Maatta 22nd.
Pouliot had labral repair surgery performed by Dr. Dharmesh Vyas at UPMC after coming to Pittsburgh this week for evaluation of his injury.
He got hurt in the final of the Western Hockey League playoffs after earlier being named the WHL defenseman of the year. He had 17 goals, 70 points in 58 regular-season games and another five goals, 32 points in 21 playoff games for the Portland Winterhawks.
A four- to six-month recovery timetable means Pouliot might be ready for the start of training camp but could miss the early part of next season.
The exact nature of Maatta’s surgery and his projected recovery time aren’t clear.
Maatta had a strong enough training camp in the fall that he made the season-opening roster and eventually played all season as a regular.
He had nine goals, 29 points in 78 games and got quite a bit of power-play time. He played in all of the Penguins’ 13 postseason games, collecting four assists, although he missed the game-day skate for Game 6 against the New York Rangers in the second round and was questionable to play that night up until game time. It’s not clear if that was related to the shoulder injury that will require surgery.
Shelly Anderson: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly. First Published May 21, 2014 5:43 PM