Sunday April 21st, 2013

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins The first overall pick in 2011, 20-year-old Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has struggled with injuries. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

A disappointing season is coming to an early end for Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

He could undergo the procedure as soon as Tuesday.

"We discussed it a little bit during the year," Nugent-Hopkins said of the surgery. "It's something that doesn't fix itself. It has to be taken care of. The plan was to get it done before the season ends so I'm recovered and good to go before next season."

The first overall pick in 2011 has dealt with shoulder problems in the past, going back to his junior days with the Red Deer Rebels. Although this injury has been bothering him for some time, it doesn't appear to be related to the shoulder issue that hampered him towards the end of his rookie season.

Here's audio of Nugent-Hopkins meeting with Edmonton media today to discuss his situation. Even with the surgery, there's reason to be concerned about how well Nugent-Hopkins will function next season. Teammate Taylor Hall underwent similar surgery and has said that while he could play in six months, it took a full year before he was feeling 100 percent.

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