Former NHL player Adam Johnson died on Wednesday after a skate slashed his neck during a game. The 29-year-old was playing for the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye when he was accidentally cut by the skate of teammate Justin Dowling.

Johnson was rushed to the hospital, but was pronounced dead upon arrival. The cause of death was listed as exsanguination due to a severed carotid artery.

The NHL released a statement following Johnson’s death, expressing their condolences to his family and friends.
Johnson was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He played in 16 NHL games with the Lightning and the Minnesota Wild, scoring two goals and adding one assist.

Johnson’s death is a reminder of the dangers of playing professional hockey. While rare, skate slashes can cause serious injuries and even death. The NHL and the ECHL are working together to develop new safety measures to prevent skate slashes from happening in the future.

Johnson’s fiancée, Ryan Wolfe, posted on her Instagram story: “My sweet sweet angel. I’ll miss you forever and love you always.”

His former team, the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL), also paid tribute to him before and during their game on Monday against the Anaheim Ducks.

Fans at the PPG Paints Arena were invited to stand and cheer while players from both teams gathered at the center ice circle before the game in memory of Johnson.