Forward Austin Wagner is ready to make his professional debut.
Since his off-season surgery to repair a torn labrum and dislocated bicep tendon, Wagner has quietly been rehabbing with the Ontario Reign. At first, he was restricted to isolated on-ice workouts and eventually graduated to limited drills in a red “no contact” jersey. Another couple weeks passed and he is now ready to challenge for a roster spot.
There are still two more hills to climb before fans could potentially see No. 26 twirling around Citizens Business Bank Arena. He 1.) needs to be medically cleared and 2.) needs to be assigned by the LA Kings powers-that-be.
This season, Wagner is eligible to return to his junior team, the Regina Pats, for his 2o-year-old campaign and join the club as they host the 2018 Memorial Cup. As a host team, you are automatically entered into the premiere tournament. Certainly a tantalizing option with a chance to claim junior hockey supremacy in his final season.
He has the opportunity to fast-track his professional career after signing with the Kings this past spring and battle for a roster spot. His speed and scoring ability certainly gained attention around the ranks and are attributes both the Reign and Kings need in their lineup.
What would you do?