Canucks’ Olli Juolevi had hip soreness, but is fit to return to play

Olli Juolevi, the fifth overall pick in 2016, undergoes season-ending surgery in his first pro season with AHL Utica. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

Vancouver Canucks defence prospect Olli Juolevi was dealing with hip soreness, but has been deemed fit enough to return to play for the AHL’s Utica Comets, the team announced Wednesday.

The Canucks said Juolevi, who was the team’s fifth-overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, was removed from the Comets’ roster as a precautionary measure and for further evaluation.

Vancouver said the team’s medical staff will continue to closely monitor his status and are approaching his subsequent treatment conservatively.

The Canucks announced last month that Juolevi, who underwent knee surgery last December, had a lower-body ailment and there was no timeline for his return.

Juolevi’s 2018-19 campaign with Utica was cut short after 18 games, during which he collected 13 points, because of the knee injury.

He has recorded five assists in 14 games with the Comets this season.

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