Shocked as healthy 24-year-old hockey player is forced into retirement due to sudden heart disease
Shocked as healthy 24-year-old hockey player is forced into retirement due to sudden heart disease. Image: @USHL/Twitter
A HEALTHY young hockey player has been forced to retire from the sport after being diagnosed with a heart condition ‘which means he has a higher risk of having a heart attack on the field’.
Finland’s Mikael Hakkarainen, the 24-year-old hockey player who played against Sweden’s Västerås IK, has been forced to retire from the sport following a diagnosis of heart disease, meaning he can no longer play without fear of suffer a heart attack.
Hakkarainen believes his diagnosis of heart disease was due to catching Covid.
He tested positive for the virus in January and played his last professional game in March.
Speaking to the new Finnish outlet Jatkoäjäthe youngster said: “I caught Covid at the end of January. I had severe symptoms and went to play too soon. Since April, I have only been watching.
“Now I was told I had a congenital heart condition called LVNC, or trabeculation cardiomyopathy,” Hakkarainen said.
Before catching Covid, the hockey player said he had no issues with his heart.
“[Being diagnosed with this heart condition] means I have a higher risk of having a heart attack on the ice, especially when it comes to contact situations,” he said.
“I would have liked to play and I would have had a place, but you cannot play with your health.”
The 24-year-old said he is now considering his options.
“I would like to do something in hockey, but I can’t say anything for sure yet.
“I just had to accept that I can’t play hockey anymore. And that’s good,” he added.
Hakkarainen has had a checkered career for a young player.
In 2018, he was a fifth-round pick for NHL team Chicago Blackhawks.
However, his career will be most remembered for his involvement in the Blackhawks’ most commemorative trade.
Hakkarainen was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for star goaltender Marc-André Fleury.
News of the young hockey player’s heart disease diagnosis and subsequent retirement comes after another young hockey player tragically died while playing in a tournament in Canada.
Eli Palfreyman, captain of the Canadian hockey team Ayr Centennials, died of a “medical incident” during a game on Tuesday August 30.
Brian Shantz, Vice President of the Centennials, said at the time: “We ask for your prayers and support for Eli’s family and each of our players.
“Our centenarians’ organization and the community of Ayr are in mourning. We have reached out to mental health and bereavement professionals to support our players and staff. »
He added: “Eli received the best care from our medical staff and a quick response from outpatient staff.
“Doctors will have more answers for us in the coming days.
“Out of respect for the family’s right to privacy, we will not speculate on anything at this very difficult time. The nation of Cens also needs time to heal during this devastating time. »