Niagara IceDogs forward Tom Kuhnhackl was handed a 20-game suspension Tuesday as a result of his actions during a game against the Kitchener Rangers last week.

Kuhnhackl was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for charging after he levelled defenceman Ryan Murphy on Friday night. He crushed Murphy with a bodycheck as the Kitchener player was skating with his head down behind his own net.

In a website video, the Ontario Hockey League noted that Kuhnhackl made contact with the opponent's head and hit a vulnerable, unsuspecting player. The OHL also considered the speed and distance travelled when making its decision and noted that Murphy was injured on the play.

Murphy was down on the ice for a couple of minutes before skating to the bench without assistance. He has not played in Kitchener's last two games.

Murphy, who has six assists in nine games this season, was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes with the 12th overall pick in this year's NHL entry draft.

Kuhnhackl was selected in the fourth round of last year's draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has five points and 11 penalty minutes in six games this season.