Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson has issued a statement on the loss of his son, Axel.

On social media, Karlsson says, "At this extremely difficult time it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But we know one day we'll get there. We would like to thank everyone for the love and support we have received and also for respecting our privacy and the process that we need to go through.

"We feel lucky to be Axel's parents. Even though he was stillborn, we know we will hold him again one day under different circumstances and the joy he gave us will be with us forever."

Karlsson also shared a photo of his son's footprints on Instagram. 

On Tuesday, the Ottawa Senators announced Karlsson and his wife Melinda lost their baby. In a brief statement issued, the Senators say, "The collective thoughts and prayers of the Ottawa Senators organization, the city of Ottawa and entire hockey community rest with Erik and Melinda Karlsson following the loss of their son.

“We ask that you respect the family's wishes for privacy during the grieving process."

The team captain and his wife announced the pregnancy in November, wearing matching Mom and Dad hats on social media. The couple announced in December they were expecting a boy .

The baby was due some time in the late spring.

Karlsson did not play in Tuesday night's game at the Canadian Tire Centre.