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Wheeler hospitalized after taking shot in throat

Johnny Boychuk, Blake Wheeler

Winnipeg Jets’ Blake Wheeler (26) falls to the ice while battling for the puck with Boston Bruins’ Johnny Boychuk, foreground left, in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. The Bruins won 5-3. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)


There was a frightening moment in the middle of the second period of the Jets/Devils game when Blake Wheeler took a slapshot from Petr Sykora straight to the throat. Wheeler was forced straight to the locker room and was unable to return to the ice as New Jersey escaped with a 2-1 victory.

After the game, Jets head coach Claude Noel shared a little more about Wheeler’s injury. He explained after the game that Wheeler was forced to the hospital to undergo additional tests. Thankfully, all of the tests came back negative and the team is saying that all will be well with the power forward. In fact, the word is that he’ll be able to travel with the team to Ottawa for their game on Monday night against the Senators.

Wheeler has taken has game to a new level this season. The former Minnesota Golden Gopher is starting to fulfill the potential that made him the fifth overall pick in the 2005 Entry Draft. He’s leading the Jets with 23 assists, 32 points, and a plus 10 rating. It may have taken a few years (and a few teams), but he’s finally starting to play like the guy who had scouts salivating over his impressive mixture of size, strength, and skill.

For anyone watching the game live, they know it looked like it could have been much worse.