The IIHF World Junior Championship Disciplinary Panel has issued a three-game suspension for Swiss forward Chris Egli.
Egli delivered a check to the head of Swedish star forward William Nylander in both team’s first game of the tournament. The hit crumpled Nylander and sent him to the hospital. Sweden has not yet said if Nylander will be able to return to the ice during the tournament.
The hit ignited some debate, with many asserting that Nylander had his head down and that’s why the injury resulted. But even if his head is down, the responsibility lies with the checking players to not deliver the check through the head of their opponent. If the check had been through the body, it’s a different hit. Also, it’s not as much that Nylander’s head was down, as that Egli came from an unexpected place with the direction of play changing quickly.
The suspension will put Egli out for the rest of the preliminary round. He’ll be eligible to return to the Swiss roster if they advance.
Here’s the ruling from the IIHF:
The Panel confirmed that Egli’s hit is in violation of rule no. 124 Checking to the Head or Neck. The Panel also determined had Egli had ample time to alter his approach to avoid violently checking Nylander in the head, that his actions endangered the safety of his opponent and that supplemental discipline is applicable.