Thursday, May 21, 2020

May 21, 2011: A Day That Changed Joey Hishon's Career

Joey Hishon was a fantastic Junior Hockey player for the Owen Sound Attack. His skillset was so impressive, he even was selected in the 1st Round of the 2010 NHL Draft at 17th overall by the Colorado Avalanche. Everything seemed great for Hishon, until his Memorial Cup game on May 21, 2011 against the Kootenay Ice. Hishon was carrying the puck through the neutral zone when he lost an edge on his skates and was elbowed by Buffalo Sabres draft pick, Brayden McNabb. When Hishon got back on his skates, he seemed woozy and ended up running into a teammate before falling to the ice out cold and dripping blood. It turned out Hishon had a severe concussion.

See the hit here:

After this injury, Hishon just wasn't the same player. It took him almost 2 years to come back after the concussion he received in that Memorial Cup game in 2011. He then received another concussion in his first professional season in the AHL in 2013, and then suffered from post-concussion syndrome. Hishon did eventually make the NHL. In the 2014 playoffs, he was called up and suited up for 3 games (adding an assist). The next year, he got an audition of 13 games for the Avalanche, and even scored his first NHL goal. However, the head injuries eventually proved to be too much and they limited his play every year he played professionally thereafter. They would be the cause of Hishon's retirement in 2018 while playing in the Swedish Hockey League for Lulea HF.

I always rooted for Joey Hishon to come back from his injuries and tried to follow his career pretty closely until he hung up the skates for good. Who knows what Hishon could have done in the NHL if he never had any serious head injuries. He could have become an elite talent. I haven't been able to find his Cup Black 1/1 Rookie yet, but someday I will. I have 2 Hishon cards currently in my collection and they are pictured below:

2014/15 SP Game Used Joey Hishon True Rookie /38

2014/15 Black Diamond Rookie Gems Joey Hishon Quad Diamond RC (Real Diamonds) 1/1

Thanks for reading.