Albany Devils defenceman Dan Kelly was suspended 10 games by the American Hockey League on Thursday for an illegal check to the head of Toronto Marlies forward Andreas Johnson during Game 4 of their second round playoff series.
Kelly received a match penalty at 9:33 of the second period on Tuesday after striking Johnson with an elbow to the head while he was crossing the blue line. Johnson did not return to the game.
Kelly’s suspension starts on Thursday night when Albany faces the Marlies in Game 5. His suspension will carry over until the next time he is active on an AHL roster should the Devils be eliminated. The series is tied 2-2.
Johnson, 21, was playing in his second professional game in North America after coming to Toronto from the Swedish Hockey League. The Maple Leafs’ seventh round pick from the 2013 NHL Draft had 19 goals and 44 points in 52 games for Frolunda this season.
Johnson has been held pointless in two post-season games for the Marlies.