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Anaheim Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen exits preseason game on stretcher

Sportsnaut
Apr 23, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Andreas Athanasiou (22) and Anaheim Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen (5) battle for the puck in the second period at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was removed from the ice on a stretcher in the first period of a preseason game against the visiting San Jose Sharks.

Vaakanainen was injured at 9:46 of the period on Friday after he skidded awkwardly into the boards in the offensive zone. Mere moments earlier, the 23-year-old Finland native had set up Derek Grant for the first goal of the game in an eventual 4-1 win by the Ducks.

Vaakanainen was taken to UCI Medical Center for further evaluation. The Ducks later tweeted that he had full movement in his extremities and was fully conscious and alert.

“Unbelievable job by our doctors and our training staff to get out to Vaakanainen as fast as they did and carry out an unbelievable protocol,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “They don’t do that stuff by accident, it’s something they actually practice and tonight practice made perfect. I just want to recognize all of those guys because they work extremely hard at it. They got Vaaks off, he’s in the hospital. He is alert and talking and all that good stuff. He just went to the hospital for precautionary measures obviously.”

Vaakanainen has eight assists in 45 career games with the Boston Bruins and Ducks. He was selected by the Bruins with the 18th overall pick of the 2017 NHL Draft.

–Field Level Media