Canadiens neither confirm nor deny report about Noah Juulsen injury

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Montreal Canadiens' Artturi Lehkonen, right, celebrates with Noah Juulsen after Juulsen scored a goal during the third period against the New York Islanders on Friday, March 2, 2018, in New York. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

BROSSARD, Que. — A report that surfaced last week from Montreal radio host Ron Fournier, that Montreal Canadiens defenceman Noah Juulsen could have a career-threatening eye injury, was neither confirmed nor denied by the Canadiens on Thursday.

"He has an upper-body injury, an injury that requires rest, and it is not a concussion," a senior executive with the Canadiens told Sportsnet. "He’s out indefinitely."

It was on Nov. 19, in the first period of a 5-4 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals at the Bell Centre, that Juulsen was struck twice in the face with the puck. On Nov. 20, it was announced he had suffered a facial fracture.

Juulsen returned to play on Dec. 11 sporting a full facial shield. He appeared in four games with the Canadiens and was then sent down the American Hockey League’s Laval Rocket on Dec. 17.

The 21-year-old Surrey, B.C. native played three games with Laval and last appeared in a game on Dec. 27 against the Belleville Senators.

Fournier said on his Bon Soir les Sportifs (98.5 FM Montreal radio) program that there was ample concern within the Canadiens organization that an ocular nerve was damaged when Juulsen was injured on Nov. 19, that his vision had been affected and has yet to return to 100 per cent functionality. Fournier also said that Juulsen was seriously concerned about his NHL future.

Juulsen was drafted 26th overall by the Canadiens in 2015. He has since played in 44 NHL games, collecting two goals and six assists over that time. He has also played a total 34 AHL games since graduating from the Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips in 2017.

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