Following an ugly crash into the end boards on New Year’s Eve, New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk has been out of the Isles lineup. On Monday it was revealed that Boychuk will miss four-to-six weeks of play, according to Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
The team hasn’t disclosed the nature of his injury. He drove his shoulder into the boards pretty hard on the play, getting his head out of the way at the last moment, avoiding a potentially ugly moment where he went head first into the boards at full speed.
It could have easily been worse, but it puts the Isles in a tough spot. They had been looking to trade Travis Hamonic — as he requested — and with Boychuk out 4-to-6 weeks and no guarantees on his health going forward, they can’t be looking to move him with this news. The timeframe will take them awfully close to the trade deadline. It may be June before the Islanders seriously consider moving Hamonic.
In the meantime, the team has recalled Adam Pelech. However, the length of Boychuk’s absence and how they’ve used Pelech in the past may mean that 2013 1st round pick Ryan Pulock finally gets his chance at showing his ability in the NHL.
In 38 games this season, Boychuk has three goals and 14 points.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.