PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman John Ludvig left Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Stars at PPG Paints Arena after suffering a scary-looking injury.
In the second period with 9 minutes, 24 seconds remaining in a 1-1 game, Ludvig delivered a big hit on the Stars’ Radek Faksa and fell face-first to the ice. He was immediately attended to by the Pittsburgh Penguins’ medical staff and eventually skated off the ice with some help from teammates Noel Acciari and Marcus Pettersson.
Tuesday was Ludvig’s NHL debut. Before the game, the Penguins posted multiple times to social media congratulating the 23-year-old on his milestone day. Following the game, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan addressed the injury.
“He’s continuing to be evaluated at this point,” Sullivan said. “That’s all I can really give you from a status standpoint. It’s a scary moment. It appeared that he almost got knocked out on the hit. Those are scary to watch. We are hopeful that he’s going to be OK.”
Ludvig was drafted in the third round of the 2019 draft by the Florida Panthers and has spent the last three seasons playing for the Charlotte Checkers and Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League. In 70 games with Charlotte and Syracuse, he scored five goals and tallied 20 assists.
Ludvig, whose father played seven years in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres from 1982-89, was claimed by the Penguins off waiver on Oct. 9 and is signed through the 2024-25 season. His contract carries an average annual value of $775,000 at the NHL level, the Penguins said.
The Liberec, Czechia native is one of eight defenders on the Penguins roster.
The Penguins (2-4) lost 4-1 to the Stars and host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.