Vancouver Canucks prospect Hunter Shinkaruk lives in Calgary and is still junior property of the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers.

He's an Albertan through and through but, really, how much Alberta winter can you take when you're recovering from major hip surgery? Not all that much apparently, which is why Shinkaruk has been down in Palm Springs, Calif., since his Jan. 7 operation.

“Our family has a home down here so that's where I've been since the surgery,” Shinkaruk said over the phone this week. “For this type of injury, it makes a lot of sense to be in the nice climate. A lot of my recovery is in the pool and we have a pool right in our backyard that I can use. I also don't have to worry about falling on ice, or something like that which could set me back. So it's kind of the plan to stay here for a while.”

Luckily, his mom Patricia was available to keep him company — and presumably take care of his nutritional needs — while dad Roger stayed back in Calgary to fill cavities and do root canals at his dental practice.

“My mom is enjoying the sun,” chuckled Shinkaruk, selected 24th overall last June by the Canucks. “My dad comes down to visit every once in a while.”

Sunscreen aside, Shinkaruk is pleased with the early stages of his rehab.