20231029 adam johnson
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Adam Johnson in action. Image Credit: AP

London: An American ice hockey player has died in a "freak accident" during a match for his English club Nottingham Panthers.

Adam Johnson, 29, reportedly suffered a slashed neck during the second period of the Challenge Cup game at Sheffield Steelers' Utilita Arena on Saturday.

"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 club announced on Sunday.

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

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

"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.

"Adam, our 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."

Minnesota-born Johnson played for Pittsburgh Penguins in the National Hockey League before spending the 2020-21 season in Sweden with the Malmo Redhawks.

Johnson went on to play in Canada for the Ontario Reign and in Germany for the Augsburger Panther before agreeing to join Nottingham for the 2023-24 campaign.

Sunday's three Elite League games in Belfast, Fife and Guildford have been postponed following the tragedy.