The Guelph Storm will be without defenceman Cam Allen for at least the first half of the upcoming season.
Allen is scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery on Aug. 30 and won't return until some time in the new year, said Storm general manager George Burnett.
Whether that means Jan. 1 or later on remains to be seen, Burnett added.
"I've known about this for a little while now, we just wanted to make sure with another assessment yesterday," Burnett said of the injury.
"He's going to have surgery. That's not great for Cam or for us. But better to get it done and get him to 100 per cent. The bottom line is he's got to get it looked after."
Burnett didn't want to elaborate on the exact nature of the medical diagnosis of the injury but said Allen played through some nagging issues last season then "tweaked it a little bit" at development camp earlier this summer.
Allen, 18, was a fifth round pick of the Washington Capitals in June's NHL entry draft. He also captained Team Canada at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup earlier this summer.
He had five goals and 22 assists in 62 games for the Storm last season.
Burnett said the injury is one of the reasons the team traded for overage defenceman Brayden Hislop on Aug. 4.
"It's why we added Hislop to the group .... we still think we're in a pretty good position with our blueline," Burnett said.