Former 12th overall pick forced to retire due to injuries

Cooper Godin
June 21, 2024  (1:21 PM)

Bryan Little with the Winnipeg Jets
Photo credit: CTV News Winnipeg

Despite being away from hockey for injury reasons for a little over four years now, Bryan Little is set to officially retire next weekend.

Recently, Little did an interview with Guelph Today where he discussed what he's been doing since his career-ending injury and in the article, said that he will officially retire from the National Hockey League when his contract expires, which is June 30th.
"It's more just kind of a technicality thing being on their books. My heart was still in Winnipeg and I was still following those guys because I knew a lot of the guys on the team still. It's July that I'm officially retired so it'd be nice to be done with that." Little said.

The 36-year-old hasn't played in the NHL since early in the 2019-20 season when he took a Nikolaj Ehlers slapshot to the side of the head, leaving him with a perforated ear drum and a concussion. Little said that there were days where he felt fine and wanted to return, but after consulting with multiple specialists, none of them recommended that he returns to a contact sport.
"One of the things that was the toughest about it was that I felt fine," he said. "It was just the unpredictable nature of what happens if I get hit really bad again. That was kind of the thing that kept me from playing again and believe me I saw a lot – I saw three or four specialists and none of them recommended playing contact sports again. It was tough but days like today when I kind of found something else to be passionate about, it definitely helps."

Little was selected 12th overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers and joined them ahead of the 2007-08 season following an incredible junior career with the Ontario Hockey League's Barrie Colts, who retired his number back in 2020.
In 843 career games with the Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg Jets, Little had 521 points (217 goals, 304 assists), 293 penalty minutes and was a minus-15. He added 12 points in 27 Stanley Cup Playoff games which included a trip to the Western Conference Final in 2017.
Source: Guelph Today
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Former 12th overall pick forced to retire due to injuries

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