Islanders’ Johnny Boychuk retires from NHL due to eye injury

Johnny Boychuk
Johnny Boychuk

Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk has retired due to an eye injury, the team announced Wednesday.

“After numerous and extensive medical exams, New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk‘s career has come to an end, due to an eye injury suffered during the 2019-20 regular season,” the Islanders said in a statement. “The most recent injury was the second to the same eye.”

An emotional Boychuk, 36, opened up on the career-ending issue in an availability Wednesday with the media.

“Meeting the people on the Island, from the arena attendants to the security guards to the media, the players, the coaches, the staff, the management, the owners — meeting all these great people,” Boychuk said before pausing. “There’s been so many good memories.

“… And then playing hockey for the Islanders, getting to meet all the great ones that have played for the Islanders, you see ’em all around and you get to talk to ’em. Playing with so many great players on the Island as well, battling with each other, playing games and even going out on the road, going for dinners together — you build so many good memories.

“Going into the bubble was a good memory for, I think, a lot of us because we went pretty far. And we were disappointed at the end, but we did great things this year. And there’s been so many good memories that it’s just — it’s tough to process everything at one time.”

In 404 games with the Islanders from 2014-20, Boychuk totaled 131 points on 35 goals and 96 assists. The Islanders acquired Boychuk in an Oct. 4, 2014, trade that centered on a pair of second-round 2015 NHL Draft picks to the Boston Bruins.

He spent a bulk of his first-half career with the Bruins from 2008-14, recording 75 points on 19 goals and 56 assists in 317 games. As a first-year player with the Colorado Avalanche in 2007-08, Boychuk logged four games.

The Avalanche selected Boychuk from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with the No. 61 overall pick in the 2002 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut Jan. 5, 2008, against the Islanders in a 2-1 overtime Avalanche win.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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