Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Brannstrom had to be stretchered off midway through Thursday’s 3-2 loss against the New York Islanders.
Brannstrom landed awkwardly after opposing forward Cal Clutterbuck hit him into the boards in the second period.
Brannstrom is alert, can use his extremities, and was taken to a local hospital, the Senators announced shortly thereafter.
Ottawa head coach D.J. Smith said Brannstrom would stay hospitalized overnight for further evaluation but the team is encouraged by his condition.
“Obviously, it’s emotional for the guys and everyone involved,” Smith added. “We’re awaiting word. It looks like he’s OK right now, so it’s positive, but we’ll wait for more news.”
Clutterbuck was remorseful about the incident, even though it wasn’t malicious.
“I’ve got 3,800 hits and I was just finishing him,” the Islanders’ veteran said postgame, according to the New York Post’s Ethan Sears. “I kept playing, I turned around and everyone was yelling. Just hate to see it, honestly. I’m sick to my stomach about it. I was then. I am now. It’s not something that you want to have happen.”
Brannstrom logged under eight minutes of ice time before the hit and played in all six of Ottawa’s previous games this season.
The 24-year-old joined the Senators’ organization in the 2019 trade that sent Mark Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights.