Brock Boeser could miss the remainder of the regular season for the Vancouver Canucks after injuring his back against the New York Islanders on Monday.
Boeser left Rogers Arena on a stretcher and was sent to a hospital after a collision with 27 seconds remaining in the third period of a 4-3 overtime win. The Canucks said Tuesday his recovery is expected to take 4-6 weeks.
"It's unfortunate, for sure," coach Travis Green said. "Brock has had a great rookie season and the good news is he'll have a full recovery."
Video: NYI@VAN: Boeser helped off ice after suffering injury
Boeser, a 21-year-old forward who leads NHL rookies with 29 goals, had to be helped off the ice after he fell into an open gate at the Canucks bench after hitting Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck. Boeser appeared to hit his lower back on the edge of the gate just above his left hip; he was down on the ice for several minutes before being helped off. He was not putting any weight on his left leg.
The Canucks said he was diagnosed with a soft-tissue injury and a nonstructural, nondisplaced fracture of the transverse process in his lower back. He was released from the hospital a few hours after the game.
"He's been a big part of what we've done this year, and at the same time it could have been a lot worse," forward Daniel Sedin said. "We're going to miss him on the power play and the respect he gets from other teams. … That's a guy, I think why fans in this city should be excited because you can see he is the real deal and we've seen it all year."
Video: The guys discuss Boeser's injury
Boeser leads the Canucks and is second among NHL rookies with 55 points (29 goals, 26 assists) in 62 games.
"He's had a great year," Green said. "It's good for our team and our organization as far as taking a step and getting better. He's been a big bright spot to our season, with the All-Star Game, the goal scoring and not just the stuff on the ice but how he's handled himself and conducted himself off the ice is admirable."
The Canucks were off Tuesday and play the Arizona Coyotes at Rogers Arena on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; SN1, SNP, FS-A, NHL.TV). Vancouver (25-32-9) is 18 points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Its final regular-season game is April 7 against the Edmonton Oilers.