Columbus Blue Jackets' Jack Johnson (7) tries to catch up to Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) in the first period of their NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March, 5, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio. Nugent-Hopkins will miss the remainder of the season due to a shoulder injury, the club announced Sunday.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mike Munden
EDMONTON - Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will miss the remainder of the season due to a shoulder injury, the club announced Sunday.
The team said on its Twitter account that Nugent-Hopkins is flying to Cleveland to have his shoulder examined and that surgery is likely.
After an impressive rookie campaign, Nugent-Hopkins' numbers were slightly down this year with just four goals and 20 assists in 40 games. He had 18 goals and 34 assists in 64 games in his first season after being picked first overall by Edmonton.
"It's something I've got to look into and take of," said Nugent-Hopkins. "It's something that's been nagging at me for a couple years.
"It got a little bit worse and it's something that has to be taken care of eventually. We all decided it was time."
His left shoulder has been a reoccurring problem for the centre. He missed 20 games last season because of it and then had to leave the Oilers' AHL affiliate last December to do some strengthening and conditioning on the shoulder before playing for Canada at the world junior championship.
"The plan was to get (the surgery) done before the season ends, so I'm recovered and good to go before next season," he said.
The Oilers, who will miss the post-season for the seventh straight year, have five games remaining, including a game at home against Anaheim on Sunday night.