New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) celebrates with teammates on the bench after scoring a goal against the Boston Bruins during the second period at TD Garden. Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk's playing career over due to eye injury

Johnny Boychuk won't step back onto the ice for an NHL game. 

The New York Islanders announced Wednesday that the defenseman's playing career is over due to an eye injury suffered during the 2019-20 season. Boychuk needed 90 stitches to close a wound on his eyelid after getting cut by a skate blade against the Montreal Canadiens on March 3.

Boychuk played three games for the Islanders in the playoffs after returning from the injury, including two against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final. Further medical examinations caused Boychuk to stop playing while in Toronto. 

The 36-year-old spent six seasons with the Boston Bruins before being traded to the Islanders, where he spent the next six years of his career. Boychuk also played four games for the Colorado Avalanche, who drafted him in 2002, during the 2007-08 season. 

Some of Boychuk's best years came when he was a member of the Bruins, registering 75 points in 317 regular-season games. He helped Boston win the 2011 Stanley Cup alongside Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask, who remain with the Bruins. 

In 725 career games, Boychuk tallied 206 points (54 goals, 152 assists). In 104 career playoff games, the Edmonton native notched 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists).

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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