Hockey is back, and this surely is exciting, however it was not long before we were reminded on Friday that it remains a dangerous sport. During a prospects game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators, a scary scene took place. We warn the images that will follow are tough to watch...
Canadiens prospect Jake Evans was caught straight on the head and was out cold after his head hit the ice, following the heavy hit by Jonathan Aspirot. He laid motionless on the ice for several moments before he was attended to by the medical staff in place in Laval. Still out cold, the poor kid was placed on a stretcher and exited the ice.
The scary thing is that there was no immediate response from the Habs rookie once he was looked after by the medical staff. There was no penalty on the play.
There has been no update on Evans's condition. We only know that he left Place Bell in an ambulance once he was evacuated from the rink.
UPDATE: Evans was reportedly conscious when heading to the hospital for further testings.
Evans said he signed with the Canadiens because he felt this organization gave him the best opportunity to play at the NHL level this coming season, according to Eric Engels of SportsNet.
"Any player will tell you they're looking for the quickest opportunity to play," said Evans before the start of the rookie tournament.
Evans has four years of hockey at Notre Dame under his belt, which included postseason runs against elite hockey colleges, puts him on a fast track. What is interesting for the Canadiens is that Evans entered collegiate hockey as a winger, but then transitioned to center in his sophomore season and stayed there for the remainder of his stay.
"I had some really good discussions with him over the summer and [on Wednesday], and I think he's ready to be a professional," said Joel Bouchard, who coaches the AHL affiliate in Laval and runs Montreal's rookie camp. "He had a super nice career in the NCAA, I've heard so many positives about him. Now it's fun to see him on the ice and see him progress, especially now that he's healthy."
However, this might change a few things... Healthy is the key word is and obviously what has just taken place is quite worrisome for Evans' long term health...
Let's send him some positive thoughts...