Tolvanen knocked out of the game after his head is pancaked into the boards.

A ugly impact for Tolvanen.

Jonathan Larivee

The Nashville Predators have likely lost forward Eeli Tolvanen, at least for the short term.

On Sunday night the Predators faced off against Central Division rivals the Minnesota Wild, and it was during the opening frame of that game that Tolvanen suffered an ugly looking injury.

The Predators forward was hit from behind by Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon, but some awkward positioning on the part of both men made this one look particularly dangerous. Both Tolvanen and Spurgeon were racing for a loose puck that had been dumped in by Predators forward Filip Forsberg, but sensing an opportunity Spurgeon shifted his angle of approach and instead looked for a hit on Tolvanen. The Predators forward in turn looked to avoid the contact and turned his back to Spurgeon.

When Spurgeon came in for the hit the angle of Tolvanen's body seemed to put him off balance and the end result was a nasty looking collision where Tolvanen's head appeared to get pancaked between the boards and the force of Spurgeon's hit. It looked like a pretty serious blow to the head for Tolvanen and unsurprisingly he fell to the ice where he would remain on his hands and knees for several long moments.

Although the former first round pick would need a good bit of time before he was able to get back to his feet, we are happy to report that he was able to leave the ice under his own power. That being said it was obvious that Tolvanen was not in good shape as he skated off. He left the ice very slowly and appeared to be laboring as he headed straight down the tunnel to the Predators locker room.

The Predators have already provided an update on Tolvanen's status for tonight's game and once again it will come as no surprise that he won't be returning. The Predators also announced that they expect to have a further update on his status this coming Tuesday, so stay tuned for more on that.