Detroit Red Wings' Jared McIsaac OK after scary hit, 'not going to let anything stop him'

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There was relief from the Detroit Red Wings when defenseman Jared McIsaac appeared to be OK after he lost consciousness following a scary incident.

“Jared took a pretty significant hit in the first period,” prospects coach Ben Simon said Sunday night. “Hit his head on the glass, hit his head on the ice. Lost consciousness for a little bit. Went to the hospital and was evaluated. He’s thankfully doing well — he's moving his arms, moving his legs. He’s coherent, talking. It’s not as bad as it initially looked.”

Simon said McIsaac would not need to be hospitalized overnight.

The 7-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets left the Wings 1-2 at the prospects tournament. Main training camp begins Thursday.

Detroit Red Wings defense prospect Jared McIsaac, Sept. 16, 2021.
Detroit Red Wings defense prospect Jared McIsaac, Sept. 16, 2021.

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McIsaac was chasing the puck in a corner when he was checked by Columbus’ James Malatesta and fell awkwardly along the boards, landing on his back. Medical personnel secured McIsaac’s head and neck before stretchering him off.

“It’s rough seeing a teammate go down like that,” 2021 sixth-rounder Pasquale Zito said. “Talking to some of the guys on the coaching staff, I’m hearing he’s doing OK.”

Cross Hanas, a 2020 second-round pick, roomed with McIsaac during the tourney.

“We’ve had a pretty fun week together, have gotten really close,” Hanas said. “It was really tough to see that. Even if it wasn’t one of our teammates, it’s tough to see a kid go down like that.”

The Wings already were playing with a short bench, as they had just 10 forwards available. Neither of the Wings' top prospects in the tournament, Lucas Raymond and Jonatan Berggren, in the lineup.

“We had a couple injuries, a couple guys held out as precautionary measures,” Simon said. “We lose a player, so there were times we were playing with eight forwards and five defensemen. It was frustrating at times from a coach’s point of view, but the players can’t complain about the ice time they got, that’s for sure.”

Officials ended up adjourning the first period after the hit (and then adding the final three minutes of the first to the start of the second) because play could not continue until another ambulance was on site.

It was a tough break for a prospect whose timeline since being drafted in the second round in 2018 has been full of them. McIsaac, 21, was loaned to HPK in Finland’s top league in fall 2020 but sustained an injury on his first shift. He returned to the Detroit area and underwent surgery on his left shoulder. He appeared in 10 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins, tallying two assists.

McIsaac underwent a similar procedure on his right shoulder before the 2019-20 season. He was limited to 25 games that season, but recorded 17 points for Moncton in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and also won a gold medal with Canada at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship, contributing four points in seven games.

“A lot of people put in a lot of time with Jared, and Jared himself to his credit has worked his tail off to rehab from two significant shoulder injuries,” Simon said. “To his credit, he has worked his tail off. You just feel terrible when things like this happen to him. But knowing Jared, knowing the people around him, that he’s had the ability to work with, he’s mentally strong. He’s better for it. He’s got a sense about him that he’s not going to let anything stop him.”

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Red Wings' Jared McIsaac OK after scary hit