Paralyzed hockey player Jablonski to leave hospital for rehab

by Andrew Krammer

The high school hockey player who had his spinal cord severed last month is expected to leave the hospital on Monday, MPR reported.

Jack Jablonski, 16, was checked head-first into the boards while playing in a junior varsity game for Benilde-St. Margaret’s against Wayzata on Dec. 30.

The sophomore forward suffered a neck fracture that left his legs immobile and only slight movement in his arms, but is expected to leave Hennepin County Medical Center on Monday for the Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Another injured hockey player, St. Croix Lutheran senior Jenna Privette, was discharged from HCMC on Friday evening and was also moved to a rehab facility, MPR reported. An on-ice incident earlier this month left her partially paralyzed.

Also on Monday, the governing body for nearly all youth games played in Minnesota announced that it is ramping up the punishment for certain penalties. 

Starting Wednesday, players will be penalized for checking from behind and boarding with five-minute majors and another 10 minutes in the box after the offender’s team returns to full strength, the Star Tribune reported.

Previously, checking from behind drew a two-minute minor and an additional 10 minutes in the box, and boarding was only a two-minute minor. 

The Minnesota Hockey Board of Directors approved the change in a unanimous vote at its winter board meeting.