A fan favourite and integral part of the Prince George Spruce Kings’ recent success has been forced to cut his final Junior ‘A’ hockey season short.
Chong Min Lee last suited up Friday, Nov. 15 in his team's home clash with the Cowichan Valley Capitals, but has since been a scratch in the nine games that followed as a shoulder injury he suffered now requires surgery, effectively ending his stint with the Spruce Kings.
General Manager Mike Hawes explains the 20-year-old went through an MRI scan and consulted with an orthopedic surgeon prior to the season-ending decision as stated in a team release from Sunday (Dec. 8).
“It is important that he gets the surgery soon as the recovery time is five to six months and he needs to be healed and ready to play next fall as a freshman at the University of Alaska-Anchorage,” said Hawes.
“Chong and his family are currently arranging and planning for the surgery to occur back in South Korea as soon as possible.”
Lee’s career in Prince George spans 134 regular-season games in the B.C. Hockey League (BCHL), recording 22 goals and 62 points in that time.
This year, the South Korea native was on-pace for a 50-plus-point season with 24 in 24 games, already surpassing his career-high 18 points from 2018-19.
“Chong has been with us for three years and has been a terrific player and person as a Spruce King,” added Hawes on the alternate captain.
“We wish him a successful surgery and a speedy recovery so that he can be ready to represent the Spruce Kings well when he moves on to the next chapter playing NCAA Division 1 Hockey next season.”
Prince George is currently on a three-game losing skid during a five-game homestand, which continues Friday (Dec. 13) and Saturday (Dec. 14) against Coquitlam.