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SportsHockeyIslanders

Injuries force a quick call-up for defenseman Sebastian Aho

"Pretty stressful just to get all my stuff together and get to the plane," he said of making the trip to Winnipeg.

Islanders defenseman Sebastian Aho skates against the Flyers

Islanders defenseman Sebastian Aho skates against the Flyers during a preseason game at Barclays Center on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Sebastian Aho was drafted six months ago, and perhaps he didn’t expect to be called up into his North American pro career so soon. But injuries to Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk and fellow Bridgeport defenseman Devon Toews brought Aho here.

Boychuk was deemed week-to-week with a lower-body injury on Thursday and Aho had to scramble to get from Bridgeport to Long Island for the Isles’ flight out here. The 21-year-old from Sweden did not play Friday.

“Pretty stressful just to get all my stuff together and get to the plane,” said Aho, who is second in the AHL among defensemen with nine goals. “It’s been a fun season. It was a little bit of a change with the small rink, but I think I’ve adapted pretty quick.”

Doug Weight put Ryan Pulock in Boychuk’s spot and kept the other five defensemen the same against the Jets’ big forwards. He did not seem averse to giving Aho a shot.

“He’s really visible out there, moves the puck really well, skates well and he’s a really creative kid. He just battles,” Weight said. “He’s defended really well in those areas, and as a young D on the smaller side, that’s something you’ve got to be aware of.”

Toews was more likely to get the call, but he also is week-to-week after suffering an upper-body injury with Bridgeport. “Devon had a little setback the other day, so those two guys were on our radar and Sebastian has earned his opportunity to come up,” Weight said.

n Bernier inserted

Weight’s only other lineup change was Steve Bernier slotting back in. Anthony Beauvillier sat as a healthy scratch.

Weight has been searching for some spark from the Isles’ third line. Shane Prince and Bernier got the call on Friday and were on the ice for the Jets’ second goal.

New York Sports