Nail Yakupov, a forward of Sarnia Sting, who is said to be No. 1 at the upcoming NHL draft, received a serious injury in the OHL game vs. Owen Sound on Saturday. The match ended with Sting winning 4:0.
While Yakupov was trying to gain control of the puck in the second period of the game, Owen Sound captain Michael Halmo leveled him with a devastating hit. Halmo hit the Russian superstar in the head with his shoulder. Yakupov could not leave the rink alone. He tried to stand up to his feet and get to the players bench. Near the boards, Yakupov fell down on the ice again and stayed there for several minutes before being helped to the Sting dressing room.
Yakupov, who did not return to the ice that night, suffered several cuts and bruises on his face. Luckily, he did not suffer brain concussion.
Following the game, Sting coach Jacques Beaulieu said Halmo - who was assessed a charging penalty and a game misconduct - deserves a lengthy suspension for his actions.
"He left his feet," to deliver the hit, said Beaulieu. "We went back and watched it (on replay) several times," The Observer said.