The Pipeline Show received an update on the status of key 2011 eligible prospect Matt Puempel of the Peterborough Petes. The forward has been sidelined since February 21st but still finished the season as the club's top scorer with 69 points. The 6', 190 lb left winger is Peterbough's nominee for the Red Tilson Trophy which goes to the OHL's most outstanding player.
We have been informed that Puempel had hip surgery Friday in Vail, Colorado by a renowned specialist set up by his agent Pat Morris. Petes' GM Dave Reid said the surgery went well and Puempel spent 20 minutes on a stationary bike Saturday.
It's not likely that Puempel will be in a position to help Canada at the World U18s in Germany which start in mid-April. However, the Petes will more than likely be represented as forward Alan Quine was on the Ivan Hlinka team last August, then a member of the Kingston Frontenacs.
Underaged defenceman Slater Koekkoek may also get consideration as he's one of a number of players not eligible until the 2012 NHL Draft who is already considered 1st round caliber. The '94-born blueliner had 23 points for the Petes this season.
Goaltender Andrew D'Agostini will be on the short list of candidates and his chances are helped due to the fact that Petes' goalie coach, Ron Tugnutt, is also tied to Hockey Canada as a goalie consultant.
(Photos: Aaron Bell / OHL Images)