Winterhawks' Gabriel to miss rest of season

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

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Portland Winterhawks forward Oliver Gabriel will undergo surgery to repair a right shoulder dislocation and will miss the remainder of the season, the team announced Tuesday.

Gabriel originally suffered the injury in October, then reaggravated it on January 15 in Portland’s 5-2 win in Kamloops.

“Oliver had been having an outstanding season and is incredibly disappointed to have to undergo this surgery,” Portland Winterhawks general manager and head coach Mike Johnston said. “Oliver is a true WHL success story. He was undrafted in the bantam draft and worked his way into the league. He was undrafted by the NHL but eventually earned a contract. That work ethic will enable him to overcome this injury and continue his career.”

In 41 games this season Gabriel, 19, set career-highs with 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points. He began the season in training camp with the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets as an undrafted free agent. He played well enough to see action in two preseason games for the Blue Jackets, scoring one goal. He eventually earned a contract with the Blue Jackets, signing a three-year deal on Oct. 7.

In three seasons with the Winterhawks, Gabriel has 27 goals and 40 assists for 67 points in 132 games, and registered six points in 13 playoff games last season.