Puck to throat leaves NHL player without speech but ready for Game Three

Niklas Hjalmarsson took a puck to the throat (©GettyImages)

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson took a puck direct to the throat during his team's NHL playoff contest against the Minnesota Wild Sunday.

The brutal shot took him off the ice for a brief spell in Game Two, but the Swedish player returned late on.

But with Game Three set to take place Tuesday night, it emerged today that Hjalmarsson is still unable to speak after the incident.

And while that would probably rule out any athlete in any other sport, that isn't the case in the National Hockey League.

According to various sources, the Swede has been declared fit to play in Game Three despite the fact that he has been warned of speaking for several weeks by doctors.

While clearly the injury will not impact his skating or stick handling ability for the Blackhawks, the fact that he is literally speechless will surely prove detrimental to the player's ability to issue orders or calls to his teammates in the heat of the playoff action?

You can check out the puck shot via this link.

The Blackhawks currently lead their series with the Wild 2-0.

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