Guess some people misread our message from last night when we talked about the surprise last night. What we were trying to drop hints to was that Mitch Gaulton is this close to defying the experts and could return to action on December 28th when his Erie Otters face Evgeny Grachev and his Brampton Battalion.
Mitch Gaulton was the Ranger's 6th round pick who underwent Tommy John Surgery on July 2nd. Just about every medical doctor said that Gaulton was going to miss the entire 2008-09 season.
Problem is that Mitch Gaulton refused to accept that he would miss the season and since day one of his surgery has worked on returning to his Erie Otters this season. That we are even talking about Gaulton playing this year is a tribute to Gaulton's heart and desire.
Our friends with Erie Otters wanted to make sure that we got the word out so here is the press release:
Erie Otters defenseman Mitch Gaulton was a surprise addition to practice this afternoon as he was recently cleared to begin working out with his teammates with an eye on returning to game action in the New Year.
Gaulton, the fourth overall pick in the 2006 OHL Priority Selection, was limited to only 20 games last season due to an elbow injury, which eventually required Tommy John Surgery (July 2nd) and a subsequent procedure for carpal-tunnel (September 22nd).
The initial prognosis following the July 2nd operation was that he would miss the entire 2008-09 season. Tommy John Surgery is generally performed on baseball players, particularly pitchers. Rehabilitation from the surgery performed on baseball players is approximately 12 months.
The 18 year-old Grimsby, Ontario native, who was selected 171st overall by the New York Rangers in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, will continue to participate in non-contact drills with the Otters until mid to late December when he will be re-evaluated by Rangers doctors.
In 74 career OHL games Gaulton has seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points.
The Otters complete a five-game home stand with games Friday and Saturday at the Tullio Arena against the Owen Sound Attack. Both games at 7 p.m.
Friday’s game is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals with the first 500 fans into the game receiving a stress puck. Saturday it’s Ronald McDonald House Charities Night with the first 1,000 fans receiving a McDonald’s chicken biscuit breakfast sandwich coupon.
Tickets for both games are available at all Erie-area Ticketmaster locations, the Civic Center Box Office, on line at www.ottershockey.com or by calling 814-452-4857.
For further information contact the Erie Otters at 814-455-7779 or e-mail the Otters at email@example.com.
We have to thank Mark Jeannert of the Erie Otters for keeping us up to date on Mitch's return and we will be hearing from Mitch himself later this week about his return.
(Mitch Gaulton picture courtesy of Mark Bell/Erie Otters)