Ryan Nugent-Hopkins returned to Edmonton to have his shoulder examined. Nugent-Hopkins missed 20 games last year with the Oilers with a shoulder injury.
The injury isn’t believed to be serious but Nugent-Hopkins told team officials his shoulder has been sore.
“It’s precautionary,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “They just wanted to take a look at him and make sure everything is fine. We have some time off this week. We don’t play until Saturday. It’s a good week to do that.”
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, Nugent-Hopkins was a finalist last season for the Calder trophy, the NHL Rookie of the Year award. Nugent-Hopkins scored 52 points in 62 games last season with the Edmonton Oilers. He has scored 20 points in 19 games with the Barons.
In other injury news, Taylor Hall (neck) sat out Monday’s practice but Ryan Martindale (knee) returned to practice after suffering a minor knee injury last month. After undergoing arthroscopic surgery Martindale feels he’s close to returning.
“I’m really happy with the progression so far,” Martindale said. “Hopefully I can get back to game action soon. I skated all last week for the first time. Of course, I was a little rusty. Having that week under my belt really helped.”
Team captain Josh Green, who has been sidelined five weeks with sore ribs, returned to practice last week and is expected to be activated for two games this weekend in San Antonio.
“To see these guys get better is always a good sign,” Nelson said. “We’ll see how this week goes, see how they feel and go from there… We had a pretty hard workout (on Monday) and they seemed to handle it fine. First and foremost we have to make sure they’re injury free.”
Oklahoma City Barons forward Jordan Eberle was named the American Hockey League Player of the Month for November and defenseman Justin Schultz was named AHL Rookie of the Month.
Schultz and Eberle rank 1-2 in the league in scoring.
Eberle scored 21 points in November, including 10 goals, posting a plus-13 rating in 13 November games. Eberle has 27 points for the season which ranks second behind Schultz. Eberle has 12 goals to rank fourth in the AHL.
Schultz, the rookie out of the University of Wisconsin, scored 19 points with five goals and a plus-10 rating in Oklahoma City’s 13 November games. He recorded at least one point in all but two games in November. For the season Schultz leads the league with 31 points and is second with a plus-14 rating.
The Barons have won the first two AHL Players of the Month awards. Schultz received the award in October.
Barons rookie defenseman Brandon Davidson, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer a month ago, returned to practice on Monday.
Davidson began undergoing treatment after cancer was detected in early November.
“It’s great to back on the ice,” Davidson said. “I waited a long time. When I was told last night I would be skating with the team I was really happy. It’s a tough one but it’s great to get back out there and be part of the team again.
“Things are going well for me right now. Basically things have been positive the whole way through. It’s not over yet but things are looking up. It’s nice to come out and skate today and get my mind away from stuff.”
Davidson made the Barons roster in his first professional season after serving as captain of the Western Hockey League Regina Pats last season.
“There’s a possibility (I could return) in two or three weeks if everything goes well,” Davidson said. “It’s optimistic now on which direction I’m going. We’ll wait and see… It’s been an eye opener on aspects of life and definitely changed me as a person. It’s made me a better person.”
Davidson, 21, was the Edmonton Oilers’ eighth pick in the 2010 draft, the 162nd overall pick. He’s quickly moved up the organization’s depth chart. In six games with the Barons he recorded one assist.
“It’s very inspiring,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “He’s a good person, a good kid. He always has a fantastic attitude. He’s going through a situation that’s tough. We’re waiting to see what the next course of action to take is but it’s good to have him out there working with the guys.”
Forward Jordan Eberle, who has played in Edmonton the past two seasons, said teammates were excited to see Davidson at practice.
“I know for him he couldn’t wait to get back,” Eberle said. “I think it was just a matter of the scar. Other than that he was pretty healthy. Once you get on the ice it kind of takes your mind off things. You get to hang out with the boys and feel part of the team again.”