A concussion has forced Nelson Leafs forward Logan Wullum to end his junior hockey career.
Wullum, an assistant captain in his third season with the Leafs, hadn’t played since Dec. 27.
“I would like to thank all of the fans for supporting the team during my time in Nelson and wish the boys the best of luck on the journey to the [championship],” Wullum said in a statement. “Thank you to the Leafs organization for the best junior experience a kid could ask for.”
The 20-year-old Creston native was acquired by the Leafs from the Creston Valley Thunder Cats in November 2016.
He had four goals and 14 assists through 26 games with the Leafs in what would have been his final season of junior hockey had he completed it.
Leafs head coach Mario DiBella said Wullum’s concussion is the result of a decision by BC Hockey to make face cages mandatory this season for the province’s three Junior B leagues, which include the KIJHL.
“It’s a sad statement how the new full cage rule can dictate how some players can hide behind the cage, hit high and from behind without reprisal,” DiBella said in a statement.
Wullum suffered two concussions in December, according to DiBella. The first on Dec. 1 against Castlegar was from a check from behind while the second was in Kamloops on Dec. 27.
“We wish Logan a speedy recovery and the very best in his endeavours moving forward,” DiBella said.
The team made the announcement after its win over Golden on Sunday. Leafs player Tyler Nypower said Wullum’s absence will be felt in the locker room.
“He’s always so positive. He had a letter for a reason,” said Nypower. “He’s a big influence and he always works 100 per cent when he’s on the ice, which is a big key thing for a leader.”