Victor Stjernborg underwent surgery on a lower-body injury in October that will prevent him from playing for Sweden at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship.
"It would of course have been fun to be with now and try to break in," the Chicago Blackhawks prospect told Swedish news outlet hockeynews.se. "But at the same time injuries are something that everyone will go through during their careers and is important to learn from this and get better and come back even stronger."
Stjernborg appeared to be a lock on Sweden's team for the upcoming World Juniors. Fellow Chicago prospects Drew Commesso, Wyatt Kaiser, Landon Slaggert, Alex Vlasic of the United States and Nolan Allan of Canada could play in the tournament.
Stjernborg had one assist in eight games for Växjö of the Swedish Hockey League before he sustained the injury. The 18-year-old forward scored two goals and four points in 30 regular-season games and one assist in 10 playoff games for the SHL champions. He also scored 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in 19 games for Växjö's in Sweden's under-20 league.
Stjernborg might not return to game action this season for Växjö.
"I do not know much about how long it will take [to recover]," he said. "It all depends on the healing in the near future."
The Blackhawks selected him in the fourth round of the 2021 NHL Draft.