Balkind, 16, fell to the ice during a game on Thursday. A player on the opposing team was unable to stop and slid into him, fatally wounding the sophomore. The game was stopped immediately while he was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he later died from his injuries.
Reports of the tragic accident emerged that night, though Balkind was not publicly identified until late Friday.
The private school student was honored by NHL players and hockey fans across the United States on social media.
Varsity Hockey Player Sliced His Neck
According to local reports, Balkind and his teammates at St. Luke’s School in New Canaan were playing against Brunswick Upper School in Greenwich Thursday evening.
At or around 5 p.m., the sophomore fell or was knocked to the ice during play, and an unnamed Brunswick student crashed into him.
“Another player who was near the downed player was unable to stop, and collided with the player who fell,” Greenwich Police Captain Mark Zuccerella told reporters.
His father was watching the game from the stands when the accident occurred.
The game stopped immediately, as Balkind was rushed to nearby Greenwich Hospital, where he “died as a result of the injury,” the captain added.
His name was not released until the following day, when students at St. Luke’s — a co-ed prep school — met on campus to hold a vigil in his honor.
Teddy Balkind Remembered
Thomas Philip, head of Brunswick Upper School, said the night of Balkind’s death that he had met with St. Luke’s administrators, and had been in contact with the teen’s family.
“We are devastated,” Philip told local reporters. “An unimaginable tragedy.”
On Friday, as students at St. Luke’s gathered outside the school to mourn his passing, administrators issued a statement to the campus community acknowledging Balkind’s sudden death.
“Yesterday, we lost a precious young man in a tragic accident,” the statement read.
“Both St. Luke’s School and Brunswick School are in shock as we work to support our students and families. St. Luke’s singular focus at this moment is to care for our devastated community.”
Meanwhile, hockey teams and players at every level reacted to the boy’s death with shock and sadness.
“The National Hockey League mourns the tragic passing of Teddy Balkind, a member of the hockey family lost too soon,” said the NHL on Twitter Friday night.
“Our prayers and most heartfelt condolences got out to his family, his St. Luke’s teammates, and his many friends,” it added.
Both the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers issued similar statements on social media within hours of the teen being identified.
“Losing a young player in the game of hockey is unimaginable,” read the Devils’ Tweet, in part. The Rangers added it is “hard to put into words the impact of such a loss.”
Los Angeles Kings center Alex Turcotte echoed those sentiments in a post of his own Friday night.
“Thinking about him and his family,” the 20-year-old pro said. “Just a reminder to always be grateful for everyday and to never take anything for granted.”
Hockey players the world over posted photos of their sticks under the hashtag “#SticksOutForTeddy” in remembrance of the high school sophomore.