Watch WHL player nearly get flipped by massive neutral zone hit

Kelowna Rockets defenseman Joe Gatenby crushed Kamloops Blazers Jake Kryski with an open-ice hit that nearly caused the winger to do a backflip. Thankfully, Kryski was able to return to the contest, while Gatenby dropped his gloves to answer for his hit.

Kelowna Rockets defenseman Joe Gatenby was passed over at the 2015 draft and he’s no lock to land an NHL deal. That said, Gatenby, 18, definitely turned some heads Friday evening when he laid an absolutely booming hit on Kamloops Blazers winger Jake Kryski.

Gatenby’s massive check on Kryski came midway through the contest with the Blazers attemping to break up ice. Circling into the neutral zone and picking up speed, Kryski took a lead pass from teammate Ryan Rehill that forced Kryski to turn his head to watch the puck. Gatenby saw his chance to step up on the play when Kryski turned his head, and the impact was huge. Check it out:

The hit by Gatenby falls into the grey area between a deliberate blindside hit to the head and a solid jolt, but, for what it’s worth, he received no penalties for laying the blow on Kryski. He did, however, land a major penalty for his scuffle with Rehill following the hit. Kamloops’ Deven Sideroff and Kelowna’s Riley Stadel also dropped the gloves after Gatenby’s check.

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Thankfully, Kryski, who flipped hard onto his back after the check, was able to return to the game. He might be watching out for Gatenby during Saturday’s rematch between the two clubs, though.

(Video via Robert Soderlind/Sportsnet)