Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hutt making slow progress

Daily News Sports Editor
While many WHL players spent the days leading up to Monday’s trade deadline wondering where they would end up playing, Killian Hutt was wondering when he might play again.
A 19-year-old forward with the Swift Current Broncos, Hutt has missed 11 games since suffering a severe concussion during a game against the host Kamloops Blazers on Dec. 10.
He said Sunday night that he still has “constant headaches” and, he added, “I still get kind of flashes of migraines.” However, the headaches aren’t “unbearable . . . where I’m just wanting to go to sleep all the time.”
Still, he added, “I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I thought I’d be in worse condition than what I am. I didn’t really know what to expect coming into this.”
The worst thing to deal with now might be the sleepless nights.
“I’ll go a few days where I won’t have any problems,” Hutt explained, “and then I’ll have a couple nights in a row where I get heat flashes and I’m really uncomfortable. That’s still happening.”
He also has nights where he has restless legs, but things are a lot better than when he first returned home and “was vomiting almost every night.”
To complicate matters, he also had a scrap with a flu bug so really had trouble keeping food down.
“I haven’t been vomiting much at all lately,” he said. “Once in a while but I think that’s mostly because I’m sick.”
Hutt was parked in front of the Kamloops net midway through the third period of a game the Blazers would win 3-2 when he was hit from the side by Kamloops forward Jordan DePape.
Hutt went down, tried to rise, then crumpled to the ice on his left side and went into convulsions. He received medical treatment on the ice, left on a stretcher and was taken by ambulance to Royal Inland Hospital where he spent the night under observation. He was released the following morning, rejoined the Broncos in Vancouver and since has returned to the family home on the west side of Edmonton.
Hutt has said he holds no animosity towards DePape, who has returned to play after serving a five-game suspension.
Hutt, who had been acquired from the Regina Pats early in the season, had 18 points in 26 games with the Broncos. There isn’t a timetable for his return.
Doctors, he said, “aren’t really sure. It’s a day-by-day, week-by-week process.”
He also hasn’t had a second CAT scan, so is waiting for another of those tests.
Just last week he tried to go for a five-minute jog.
“A couple of minutes in, I started to get really blurry,” he said, “so I can’t do any physical activity yet.”
That means Hutt, who said he isn’t a big TV watcher, is spending a lot of time sitting around with family and friends.
“The main thing right now,” he said, “is I’m watching what I eat because I can’t do anything.”
The Blazers didn’t make any moves at Monday’s trade deadline. General manager Craig Bonner had indicated prior to Christmas that it might be a quiet day for the Blazers and it was.
Of course, he had acquired F Thomas Frazee, 20, from the Regina Pats on Dec. 14 in exchange for F Shayne Neigum, 20, F Lyndon Martell, 17, and a 2012 third-round bantam draft pick.
Frazee has responded with 10 points in as many games for the Blazers.
The Blazers, who are at home Wednesday against the Medicine Hat Tigers, did have two players show up on the NHL Central Scouting midseason rankings.
Central Scouting ranked 210 North American skaters. D Tyler Hansen appears at No. 97, with F Colin Smith at No. 130.
John Keeney, who is on the Blazers’ protected list, is ranked 33rd among 34 North American goaltenders, Keeney has so far spurned Blazers’ advances and is with the USHL’s Omaha Lancers.
The 2011 NHL draft is scheduled for St. Paul, Minn., June 24-25.

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