Serious eye injury ends Isles' Johnny Boychuk's career

Johnny Boychuk

Eye injury forces Johnny Boychuk to end hockey career

New York Islanders defenceman Johnny Boychuk has made a decision to retire as a result of an eye injury sustained last season.

Boychuk's most recent eye injury, the second to the same eye in his career, happened March 3, when he was hit by the skate of Montreal Canadiens forward Artturi Lehkonen.

A skate clipped the veteran blue-liner's face during a game in March, requiring 90 stitches to fix the cut. The pandemic shut down the league nine days later as he was preparing to return.

Boychuk returned for the playoffs in August before sustaining a head injury in the preliminary round series opener against Florida.

A standout with the P-Bruins in 2008-09, Boychuk made his full-time jump to the National Hockey League the following season, and was part of the team's Stanley Cup team in 2011 and on the 2013 team that came up short in the 2013 Cup Final.

BOSTON, MA - MAY 27: Tim Thomas #30 and Johnny Boychuk #55 of the Boston Bruins celebrate their 1 to 0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden.

Boychuk spent the last six seasons with the Islanders, who acquired him in a 2014 trade with the Boston Bruins.

The Colorado Avalanche selected Boychuk 61st overall in 2002.

Known for his ability to tee up blistering and accurate slap shots, the longtime rearguard produced 54 goals and 206 points in 725 contests.

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