Anaheim Ducks prospect Will Francis is headed back to the ice after undergoing two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy to treat leukemia.
Francis, who is attending Ducks' Development Camp, received a tribute in front of his peers from Anaheim head coach Dallas Eakins:
Anaheim Ducks @AnaheimDucks
After 2 ½ years of chemo to fight leukemia, Ducks prospect Will Francis finished his last treatment.<br><br>Four days later he is here at Ducks Development Camp, where his teammates and Head Coach Dallas Eakins paid tribute. <a href="https://t.co/XMyDGyl62B">pic.twitter.com/XMyDGyl62B</a>
On Monday, the 22-year-old rang the bell at Minneapolis' Fairview Masonic Children's Hospital to mark his final chemotherapy treatment.
Francis, whose journey has been chronicled on his CaringBridge site, was selected in the sixth round of the 2019 NHL draft.
Soon afterward, he was preparing to play a second season for the USHL's Cedar Rapids Rough Riders with plans to later attend the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Unfortunately, he was sidelined after suffering a torn meniscus during a power-play drill, per Eric Stephens of The Athletic.
In March 2020, numerous physical symptoms led Francis to seek further medical treatment, and he was diagnosed with leukemia that month. That started a long and arduous path, but Francis has now completed chemo. He was even able to play five games for UMD last season.
Now the 6'5" defenseman is skating in an NHL team camp as he continues his journey to the NHL.