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Top Cougars forward undergoes ankle surgery, could be out for rest of regular season

In 20 games this season before he was hurt, Koehn Ziemmer had scored 11 times and had 31 points,
Cougars star forward Koehn Ziemmer underwent ankle surgery Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Prince George Cougars will be without star forward Koehn Ziemmer probably for the rest of the regular season.

The 18-year-old right winger injured his right ankle in a game at CN Centre Nov. 27 when he was wrestled to the ice during a fight with Everett Silvertips defenceman Eric Jamieson.

“He’s in surgery as we speak, down in L.A., and he’ll be out for a while,” said Cougars head  coach and general manager Mark Lamb, Wednesday afternoon.

“Everyone’s kind of guessing (four months), that’s the number. I don’t know if it’s fractured, I couldn’t tell you. If it’s surgery it’s bad. Hopefully we’ll get him back sometime this year.”

At the time he got hurt, Ziemmer was playing his best hockey of the season and, arguably, the best of his career. The Mayerthorpe, Alta., native, who turns 19 on Friday, was the Western Hockey League’s player of the week on Nov. 20.

Drafted this past summer by the Los Angeles Kings in the third round, in 20 games this season Ziemmer scored 11 times and had 31 points, fifth on a team that leads the league in scoring. At six-foot-one, 203 pounds, he plays a physical style that opens up room on the ice for his linemates.

“The impact that he has is incredible,” said Lamb.

The Cougars did get some good news from the injury front. Forward Carlin Dezainde has been cleared to play Friday when the Cougars host the Victoria Royals.

Dezainde, who turns 19 Dec, 29, hurt his shoulder Oct. 21 in a game at CN Centre against Kamloops and has missed 17 games. He had five goals and 14 points in 10 games leading up to his injury.

“At the start of the year he was playing a real good part for us, another of those guys over a point a game so everything was going for him and it was a real big setback for him,” said Lamb.