Who knew the traditional team golf tournament at training camp could be so perilous? It's doubtful junior hockey teams will curb the custom because of what happened to Aaron Haydon, but the Niagara IceDogs defenceman added his name to the litany of elite athletes who have suffered injuries while not competing at their chosen sport.
The 17-year-old, who's highly thought of enough that he was selected to USA Hockey's annual All-American Prospects Game, missed more than one-third of his rookie season with the 'Dogs due to injury. With Niagara icing a young lineup, Haydon was looking at an opportunity to establish himself as a stable defender. Instead, he's on crutches after stumbling in his departure from a golf course.
From Bill Potrecz:
Haydon was injured at the team’s golf tournament Monday.
“I was stepping off curb from the grass to the parking lot and it rolled on me,” he said. “All my weight went on my ankle and it snapped my foot.”
!--more-->Haydon didn’t think much of it until later in the day when there was some significant swelling in his ankle.
“I thought it was just a little strain and that it would be better in a few days but it blew up like a balloon by the end of the day,” Haydon said. “The next morning the trainer said he didn’t think it should be that big so went for an x-ray and it was a fracture.” (St. Catharines Standard)
The one question hanging off this is how it will factor into Haydon's progress. He's in his NHL draft year and showed flashes of being a good puck-moving defenceman who is hardly averse to utilizing his 6-foot-3, 190-pound defenceman. Defencemen with those tools do not fall out of the sky. But a NHL team will have to factor in that Haydon's had two major fractures in fewer than two years.
IceDog D Aaron Haydon broke jaw last yr and broke ankle yesterday . His injuries resemble a guy who can't pay off his gambling debt.
— Steve Clark (@SteveClarkMedia) August 28, 2013
Anecdotally, in 2011, the Phoenix Coyotes used a first-round pick on Connor Murphy even though he had been limited by injuries, including a back problem, in his 16- and 17-year-old seasons. Murphy's subsequent two seasons with the OHL's Sarnia Sting were short-circuited by injuries to each knee. But with the advances in sports medicine, it's not clear if the age-old label of 'injury prone' should still apply.
Haydon is one of three U.S.-born blueliners in the IceDogs' picture, along with 16-year-old Zach Wilkie and 17-year-old Blake Siebenaler.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to email@example.com.