Former Red Deer Rebel John Persson retires from hockey

Former Red Deer Rebels forward John Persson retired from hockey at the age of 29 after a successful pro career in Europe. (Advocate file photo)

Former Red Deer Rebels forward John Persson retired from hockey at the age of 29 after a successful pro career in Europe. (Advocate file photo)

John Persson, a former Red Deer Rebels forward, has retired from hockey at the age of 29.

Persson played three seasons for Red Deer from 2009-12 and was drafted in the fifth found, 125th overall by the New York Islanders in the 2011 NHL Draft.

He was picked by the Rebels 41st overall in the 2009 CHL Import draft and recorded 63 goals and 67 assists in 220 WHL games.

A native of Ostersund, Sweden, Persson, who played last season for Brynäs IF, said he retired because of lingering effects from a concussion.

“Back in November, I sustained a severe concussion which left me with lasting side effects. For the past six months I’ve done everything I can to get better and fully recover,” he wrote in an Instagram post.

“After multiple doctor consultations and with the support of my family we have come to the decision it’s time for me to hang up my skates.

“This year was hard for so many, and I am truly grateful as I know my situation could have been much worse. It’s time to reflect on an amazingly fun ride, figure out where the next chapter will take me and enjoy every second with my family.”

Persson played just 10 NHL games in 2013-14 for the Islanders and left North America for Sweden after the 2014-15 season with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.