We may never know what was going through the mind of Nils Höglander when the Rogle BK Angelholm second-year forward picked up a puck in the corner of Lulea HF’s offensive zone during Swedish Hockey League regular season action on Thursday.
However, we know the result of his actions and it wasn’t pretty.
Following a couple of strides with the puck, Höglander turned his back to the net as Lulea HF defenceman Fredrik Styrman began to close in on him. It appeared that Höglander was attempting to maintain possession by shielding the puck until a teammate became available for him. Then, with Styrman right behind him, the 18-year-old violently threw his elbow back at the veteran blueliner.
Höglander, a 2019 second-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks, hit Styrman directly in the head, causing the 28-year-old to immediately plummet to the ice. The entire sequence happened so quickly that it took the crowd a few moments to react to what they just saw.
With the score knotted at zero and just over seven minutes remaining in the game’s first period, Styrman laid motionless on the ice while his team’s medical staff quickly scrambled to his side. He was eventually able to get back onto his skates but required assistance to get off of the playing surface.
According to the contest’s match summary, Höglander received a five-minute major and game misconduct on the play. No supplemental discipline for Höglander nor an update on Styrman’s condition have been officially announced at this time.
Rogle BK Angelholm went on to win the game 3-2 in overtime.
After scoring seven goals and 14 points in 50 games against adult competition as a 17-year-old rookie last season, Vancouver drafted Höglander 40th overall at Rogers Arena last June.
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