Former Boston University forward Travis Roy died at the age of 45 on Thursday due to complications from his paralysis.
Roy suffered a career-ending injury as a 20-year-old freshman just 11 seconds into his college hockey career in 1995-96. He crashed headfirst into the boards after checking an opponent from North Dakota, and the accident left him as a quadriplegic.
"It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of Travis Roy," Boston University said in a statement Thursday. "His story is the epitome of inspiration and courage, and he was a role model and a hero to so many people. ... His legacy will last forever, not just within the Boston University community, but with the countless lives he has impacted across the country."
Roy went on to become a motivational speaker and advocate for the disabled. He started the Travis Roy Foundation in 1996 to fund research and help other spinal cord-injury survivors.
The hockey world took to social media to remember Roy with an outpouring of warm messages and condolences.