Less than a week after we profiled him and called him one of the gems of this year's NCAA free agent class, North Dakota sophomore defenseman Troy Stecher crashed hard into the boards in the third period of last Saturday's game against Lake Superior. Stecher had to be assisted off the ice with what appeared to be a leg injury.
Today, Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald confirmed from North Dakota head coach Dave Hakstol that Stecher will miss some significant time:
Hakstol estimates Troy Stecher will be out 6-8 weeks.— Brad E. Schlossman (@SchlossmanGF) December 10, 2014
Losing a player that has been a number one defenseman this season is never an easy thing to withstand, but North Dakota is still in a relatively strong position on their blue line. North Dakota scratched an NHL Draft pick in senior Nick Mattson last Saturday, and has played freshman defenseman, Tucker Poolman, another NHL Draft pick, at forward at times.
The six to eight week timeline would put Stecher back on the ice sometime in mid-February, hopefully giving him time to round into form in time for the playoff season for North Dakota.