There was a scary moment partway through the first period in Friday’s preseason contest between the Ducks and Sharks. After setting up a goal, Anaheim defenseman Urho Vaakanainen hit his head into the boards and had to be stretchered off the ice.
The team announced (Twitter link) that the 23-year-old was taken to hospital for evaluation but “has full movement in his extremities and is fully conscious and alert”. Speaking to reporters postgame, head coach Dallas Eakins didn’t have any updates on Vaakanainen’s condition.
Vaakanainen is in his first full season with the Ducks after being acquired near the trade deadline last season as part of the Hampus Lindholm trade. He signed a two-year, $1.7MM contract back in July and was hoping to land a full-time spot in Anaheim’s lineup this season. Unfortunately, it appears those plans are on hold for the time being as the team waits to see how long he’ll be out of the lineup.
Also on the injury front in Anaheim, center Trevor Zegras will be undergoing a second MRI as the team looks to get more information about the upper-body injury he sustained on Wednesday, relays Lisa Dillman of the Orange County Register (Twitter link). Zegras was injured in the second period against Arizona on a hit from Jan Jenik. The imaging is happening today so the team should have an idea of how long the 21-year-old will be out of the lineup in the near future.