Ice hockey player Adam Johnson has died after a “freak accident” during Nottingham Panthers’ Challenge Cup match with Sheffield Steelers on Saturday (October 28) night.

The 29-year-old American reportedly suffered a slashed neck from a skate during the second period of the game between the two teams at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena.

The match had to be abandoned after a “major medical emergency” was declared. 

Johnson was reportedly taken to hospital after receiving emergency treatment from paramedics on the ice as other players formed a ring around him. 

Supporters were asked to leave the venue following the incident and a protective screen was raised around the stricken player as around 8,000 ice hockey fans made their way out of the arena.

Nottingham Panthers ice hockey player dies after "freak accident" during match

The Nottingham Panthers took to social media this morning to reveal Johnson - who used to play for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the National Hockey League (NHL) - had died following the "freak accident" at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena on Saturday.

In a statement, released on X (formerly Twitter), the club said: “The Nottingham Panthers are truly devastated to announce that Adam Johnson has tragically passed away following a freak accident at the game in Sheffield last night.

"The Panthers would like to send our thoughts and condolences to Adam's family, his partner, and all his friends at this extremely difficult time.

"Everyone at the club including players, staff, management, and ownership are heartbroken at the news of Adam's passing. 

"Our thoughts are also with the fans and staff of both clubs, especially those who attended or were following the game, who will be devastated following today's news. 

"The Panthers would like the thank everyone who rushed to support Adam last night in the most testing of circumstances. 

"Adam, out number 47, was not only an outstanding ice hockey player, but also a great teammate and an incredible person with his whole life ahead of him.

"The club will dearly miss him and will never ever forget him. 

"We ask that the privacy of Adam's family and friends, and everyone at the club is respected at this difficult time as we all seek to come to terms with out grief.

"Rest in Peace Adam."