University of Alaska Fairbanks defenseman Erik Drygas is recovering in the Intensive Care Unit at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital after suffering a serious neck injury resulting from a head-first collision with the boards during practice on Monday, October 7, 1996.
On Oct. 10, Drygas underwent surgery to repair a severe fracture to his fifth cervical vertebra. The injury has left Drygas partially paralyzed from the waist down with limited response from his upper body.
It is not known at this time the extent in which Drygas will recover from this injury.
The hockey world was rocked by a similar incident last year, when Boston University freshman Travis Roy fractured a vertabrae 11 seconds into his first collegiate shift.