Justin Barron will have to wait just a bit longer to play his first game of the QMJHL season.
The Halifax Mooseheads defenceman had a minor corrective procedure on his shoulder last week as part of a scheduled follow-up from last season's blood clot. He is listed as out indefinitely for now but isn't expected to miss a substantial number of games.
The purpose of the procedure was to prevent a reoccurrence of the clot that forced him to the sidelines for a mandatory three months in 2019-20. It was an isolated event and not part of any kind of blood or genetic disorder that can cause chronic clots for others.
Halifax's Barron is entering his fourth season in the QMJHL and is not only the Mooseheads' top defenceman but is also one of the best in the entire league.
"We're a little thin now but we kept enough players that other guys will fill his spot for now," Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell said. "We have seven healthy defencemen right now so we'll probably dress all of them for Saturday's game."
The Mooseheads host the Charlottetown Islanders at the RBC Centre in Dartmouth on Saturday afternoon to wrap up their pre-season. Their season-opener is on Oct. 2 on the road against the Cape Breton Eagles. The teams also play again in Halifax the next night.
Barron is a potential first-round pick for the 2020 NHL draft, which will be held on Oct. 6. It is usually in late June but had to be pushed back because of the COVID-19 shutdowns.
The six-foot-two, 198-pound defenceman had 19 points in 34 games last season.
"You don't really replace a player like Justin but injuries happen every year in hockey," Russell said. "We have some young guys who will get a chance to play more so that will be an opportunity for them."