The Halifax Mooseheads' injury problems are continuing as they will be without one of their top players for the foreseeable future.
Defenceman Justin Barron, 18, is out indefinitely after being diagnosed with a blood clot. In a news release Tuesday, the team said there is no timetable for him to return to the ice.
"When you lose a player of Justin's calibre it's a big blow to your hockey team," team general manager Cam Russell said in an interview. "Not only on-ice, but he's a real leader in our dressing room."
Barron, a Grade 12 student at Halifax West High School, did not play in Sunday's 5-2 road loss against the Charlottetown Islanders but did play in Halifax's home game Saturday night at Scotiabank Centre.
Russell said Barron headed to hospital after Saturday's game, complaining of numbness in his "upper body." He was told to return Sunday morning for an ultrasound, which diagnosed the problem. He is now on blood thinners and will see a specialist on Thursday.
The GM credited team athletic therapist Robin Hunter with detecting that something was amiss.
"A lot of people might just have dismissed it as something minor," Russell said. "But she had enough foresight to send him to a doctor to get it looked at and go for an ultrasound."
Barron, who just turned 18 two weeks ago, is considered a top prospect for the 2020 NHL entry draft. He has been listed as an "A" prospect by NHL Central Scouting and is a potential first-round pick.
The 6-2, 187-pound defenceman has 17 points in 27 games so far this season.
Barron was named to the QMJHL all-rookie team following the 2017-18 season and in back-to-back seasons has represented the league in the Canada-Russia junior series.
Barron's injury comes at a time when the team was just returning to full strength.
Another top defenceman, Jared McIsaac, had just returned to the Mooseheads lineup following a long stint on the disabled list after undergoing shoulder surgery.
McIsaac will soon be out of the lineup again as he is one of three Halifax players who will be heading to Oakville, Ont., to try out for Canada's world junior team. Mooseheads Benoit-Olivier Groulx and Raphael Lavoie will also be trying out.
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