Just hours after agreeing to an entry-level contract with the New York Islanders, Owen Sound Attack forward Mike Halmo leveled top junior prospect Nail Yakupov with a vicious hit that had the hockey community abuzz Saturday.
Halmo, a captain for the Attack who leads the team with 40 goals, 44 assists and 158 penalty minutes, drilled Yakupov in the head during the second period of his team's 4-0 loss to the Sarnia Sting. Yakupov, who is projected to go first overall in the 2012 draft, left the game and did not return.
The 20-year-old Halmo, who is likely to face a suspension, was assessed a charging major and game misconduct.
After the game, Sarnia coach Jacques Beaulieu made it clear he was angry with the hit delivered to his star player.
"I thought it was blatantly dirty' Beaulieu said, according to the Canadian Press. "Nail took alot of stitches to the face, it's all marked up. Halmo didn't hit anything else, but his head. We've got to take these hits out of out game and protect our kids."