The oft-injured scoring vet reportedly had a procedure done this offseason that involved repairing a tendon and ligament, but even though he avoided surgery and is said to be doing well, Kings GM Rob Blake added in a State of the Franchise address that Gaborik "still has some difficulty with some of the lifts and the strength." A mid-80s point packer in his heyday with the Rangers, it's difficult to recommend the Czech in anything but the deepest fantasy formats since he's played a combined 110 games over the last two seasons.
The towering net-front scoring winger dropped jaws as a rookie, dialing up 36 points (17 goals, 19 assists) despite averaging a mere 15:54 of ice time over 60 games. Additionally, among the men donning the Winged Wheel, Mantha's plus-10 rating was inferior only to captain Henrik Zetterberg and his plus-15 clip. As suggested in this latest report, the 22-year-old is part of the reason why the team isn't looking to bring back Thomas Vanek, and he could see regular power-play minutes in the coming season if one of Justin Abdelkader or Riley Sheahan get injured.
According to Rutherford, this is the St. Louis native's second hip surgery in just over a year. The Notes had sung his praises upon making him a 2015 fifth-round draft pick, but these ailments, coupled with underwhelming peripherals (3.08 GAA, .897 save percentage) over 75 regular-games with the OHL's Kitchner Rangers, have dimmed his long-term fantasy outlook.
While the expansion Golden Knights would have little reason to press one of their more established players into a promotional event, it's discouraging that he's dealing with an injury in the first place. He'll reportedly be reevaluated in "a week or so," but this doesn't bode well for Schmidt's fantasy prospects after he took the nascent franchise to arbitration with his award set at two years and $4.45 million. Last year, he compiled 17 points (three goals, 14 assists) over 60 games with the Capitals.
The 'Yotes signed Wood to a three-year, entry-level contract this past March. Listed at 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, he's an imposing presence from the back line, and is fresh off a season with the AHL's Roadrunners that included 43 points (14 goals, 29 assists) in 68 games. However, he turned in a minus-23 rating that same year, suggesting that his own-zone play needs refining. For now, fantasy owners should at least consider the 2014 third-round pick -- originally drafted by the Avalanche -- as a potential keeper option.
The Finn spent his first three seasons in St. Louis, having surged out of the gate with a rookie year that included 14 goals, 30 assists, and a plus-21 rating. However, his production slipped quite a bit in the two subsequent years -- all the way down to 22 points and a minus-6 rating over 64 contests in 2016-17. Perhaps a change of scenery will invigorate Lehtera, but don't be surprised if it takes him awhile to settle in. After all, he's projected to start out in a bottom-six role for a Flyers offense that was inferior to the Blues during his tenure with the Notes.
Formerly with the Oilers, the skilled right winger was traded to the Islanders in June in a straight up deal for Ryan Strome. Last season, Eberle played all 82 games for the first time in his seven-year career and proceeded to register 20 goals and 31 assists -- including 14 man-advantage points. This year, he'll assuredly see more ice time than the 16:46 average in his previous go-around with the Oil, and being the right flanker to Tavares -- who's amassed 537 points in 587 regular-season contests -- definitely has its advantages.
Last year, following hip and abdominal surgery, Gostisbehere was unable to build upon his impressive rookie campaign (with seven goals representing a 10-score slide) and Ghost vanished all too often in the Flyers' zone based on an ugly minus-21 rating. Coach Dave Hakstol sent him to the pine as a healthy scratch five times in 2016-17, which goes to show that the bench boss is unafraid to sit a talented playmaker if he's caught in a rut. Nevertheless, the 24-year-old signed a six-year, $4.5 million contract extension in June, and we figure he'll continue hovering around the low 20-minute mark in total ice time as a premier power-play quarterback. Just over 30 percent of his points have take place on the man advantage through 146 career appearances -- including six games of the 2016 postseason.
Recall that San Jose's top-line pivot was held out for the final seven games of 2016-17's regular season after he got in the way of a deflected shot from teammate Brent Burns. However, showing incredible resolve, Couture suited up for the conference quarterfinals and at least bordered on his typical productive self with two goals on 10 shots to complement a helper over six games. "There's good days and bad days," Couture said, adding that the injury fortunately "didn't affect my training, and hopefully won't affect me going forward."
The prolific scoring winger surprisingly made it through the expansion draft, regular entry draft, and a July 1 free-agency signing bonanza without moving on from the lowly Avalanche. While he still has two years and $12 million left on a five-year contract, many hockey pundits thought he'd be long gone by now. Regardless of his destination, Duchene's focus will be improving upon a lackluster 2016-17 campaign in which he posted 41 points -- his lowest since an abbreviated 2011-12 season -- and a career-worst minus-34 rating.
McGinn didn't appear in a single game with the Lightning last season, and instead spent the entirety of the 2016-17 campaign in the minors, notching 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in 21 games with AHL Syracuse. This is nothing more than an organizational depth signing for Tampa Bay.
Girgensons past two seasons have been disappointing -- a combined 34 points from 2015-17 -- after a solid sophomore campaign in 2014-15 (15 goals and 15 helpers). Despite the drop off in production, the 23-year-old was one of the Sabres' offseason priorities that they have now locked in for two more years. Considering he averaged a mere 13:10 of ice time last season, the center figures to offer mid-range fantasy value at best.
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