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Red Wings rookie hospitalized after taking brutal hit in prospects tournament

·Hockey writer
·3-min read
A brutal hit-from-behind that knocked out Detroit prospect Jared McIsaac headlined a complete gongshow of a rookie game between the Wings and Jackets. (Photo via David Guralnick, Detroit News)
A brutal hit-from-behind that knocked out Detroit prospect Jared McIsaac headlined a complete gongshow of a rookie game between the Wings and Jackets. (Photo via David Guralnick, Detroit News)

The Red Wings and Blue Jackets played a meaningless prospect game in Traverse City, Michigan on Sunday afternoon that could potentially affect the long-term health of Detroit defenseman Jared McIsaac.

As the 21-year-old defenseman and Columbus center James Malatesta were going heavy into a puck battle behind the goal line, McIsaac got slammed into the glass head-first and was knocked out cold on the ice. He had to be stretchered off and was rushed to a local hospital.

"Jared took a pretty significant hit in the first period," Detroit coach Ben Simon said after the game. “Hit his head on the glass, hit his head on the ice. Lost consciousness for a little bit. Went to the hospital and was evaluated. He’s thankfully doing well — he's moving his arms, moving his legs. He’s coherent, talking. It’s not as bad as it initially looked.”

Simon added that McIsaac will not need to stay in the hospital overnight.

After everything was said and done and the Blue Jackets claimed the 7-3 victory, Malatesta spoke with the media, reportedly very upset while his eyes filled up with tears.

“I was just going in on the forecheck and I saw him get [the puck] and he was climbing up and I just went down,” the 18-year-old center said, “and at game speed things happen fast and he kind of turned and I tried to move out of the way but I got him there. I just hope he’s okay.

“I’m not that type of player. I don’t go out on the ice having intentions to hurt anyone. I’ve seen those things happen but to be the one to do that I was just hoping and praying that he was going to be okay and get up. My intentions weren’t to hurt him or anything like that.”

Still on the ice, the horrifying display of a young player getting stretchered off the ice shook the players into a newfound level of physicality and violence. Chippy plays turning into full-on scrums happened frequently, and Detroit defenseman Wyatt Newpower laid out a disgusting hit against Blue Jackets top prospect Cole Sillinger in what seemed to be some sort of retribution act.

While Malatesta explained the situation and his mistake, there appears to be no sympathy for an outright act of violence coming from Newpower. The dangerous hit spawned more fights and more wrestling, as Josh Dunne went and fought the Red Wings prospect to defend his teammate.

Sillinger was luckily able to get up and shake off the head-first collision, continued playing, and confirmed with reporters after the game that he is feeling good.

As for McIsaac, word is still out on how he is feeling after leaving the hospital, but the early signs seem positive, especially after the way he crumbled to the ice on Sunday.

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