2017 Fantasy Hockey Injury Report: October 17
Gabriel Farnesi takes a look around the NHL and gives his take on the top injuries around the league
Each week of the National Hockey League regular season, we will take a look at some of the most important injuries that have occurred in the last seven days, as well as key players that have returned from injury and updates on the conditions of other fantasy-relevant players (when applicable). Here is this week's batch:
1. Leon Draisaitl, RW/C, Oilers (concussion/eye injury, IR)
What began as a relatively minor eye injury has now turned into a concussion for the big, German playmaker. Obviously, the Oilers are quite concerned about Draisaitl's situation; they simply cannot afford to lose him for several games. In the meantime, the Oil will give rookie winger Kailer Yamamoto a shot on Connor McDavid's right wing in place of Draisaitl (Patrick Maroon remains on the left side). This injury affects the entire roster.
2. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Golden Knights (concussion, IR)
Speaking of players teams simply cannot afford to be without, the expansion Knights will now have to go without their best player for an indefinite period of time. Fleury was injured recently when he was run over in the crease area by Detroit's Anthony Mantha. Now, Vegas will look to rookie Malcolm Subban to pick up the slack. With Calvin Pickard traded to Toronto, Subban should now see a ton of action. Maxime Lagace is his backup.
3. Antti Raanta, G, Coyotes (lower-body injury, day to day)
The Coyotes are a mess right now, and that has mostly to do with their shaky goaltending situation. Raanta, the team's projected starter this season, has been limited to three games because of a pesky lower-body ailment that he cannot seem to shake. Meanwhile, backup Louis Domingue has struggled badly in the crease area (4 GP, 0-3-0, 4.55 GAA, .862 Sv%). This could open the door for 21-year-old rookie netminder Adin Hill.
4. Charlie Coyle, W/C, Wild (fractured fibula, IR)
Now 25, Coyle has seen his production increase every season since entering the NHL in 2012-13. Therefore, fantasy leaguers were eagerly anticipating Coyle's start to 2017-18. After producing two assists in his first three games, Coyle fractured his right leg against Chicago recently and is now sidelined indefinitely. This is bad news for a Wild forward group that was already missing Zach Parise (back) and Mikael Granlund (groin). Ouch!
5. Mathieu Perreault, LW/C, Jets (lower-body injury, IR)
The steady veteran will be missed in Winnipeg, as Perreault is viewed as somewhat of a 'glue guy' on the Jets: a player who seems to make his linemates better (regardless of whom he plays with). Perreault had been playing on the second line with Bryan Little and Patrik Laine, a job that now belongs to rookie Kyle Connor for the time being. Speedy Connor appeared in 20 NHL games last season and is hoping to stick with the big club this time.
6. Jonathan Marchessault, LW/RW, Golden Knights (lower-body injury, IR)
The former Panthers, Lightning and Blue Jackets forward was off to a slow start with his new team (4 GP, 1-0-1) but was skating on a scoring line with the Golden Knights with Oscar Lindberg and Reilly Smith. His absence will definitely be felt on the expansion squad (who may have to rely even more heavily for goals on veteran winger James Neal). Marchessault's injury will provide rookie Alex Tuch with an opportunity to showcase his skills.
7. Nino Niederreiter, RW/LW, Wild (ankle injury, IR)
If losing Charlie Coyle recently was not bad enough, the Wild compounded their misery with the loss of Niederreiter for at least three weeks due to a high-ankle sprain. It has been so bad in terms of Minnesota injuries that the team had to play without five regular forwards last week: Niederreiter, Coyle, Zach Parise, Mikael Granlund and Marcus Foligno! Veteran Tyler Ennis and rookie Joel Eriksson Ek could benefit the most.
8. Alexander Edler, D, Canucks (sprained knee, out indefinitely)
Now in his 12th pro campaign, all with the Canucks organization, Edler has been quite prone to injury for much of his career. He was limited to 68 games last season and has only one injury-free year (2011-12) to his name. With Edler out, the Canucks will give recent acquisition Derrick Pouliot a chance to showcase his puck-moving skills. A major disappointment with the Penguins organization, Pouliot gets to start over in Vancouver.
9. Matt Niskanen, D, Capitals (upper-body injury, IR)
Washington was already missing three of their top seven defensemen from last season: Karl Alzner (who signed with Montreal as a UFA); Nate Schmidt (who was claimed by Vegas in the expansion draft) and Kevin Shattenkirk (who signed with the Rangers as a free agent, as well). Therefore, losing Niskanen for some time will hurt. Rookies Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey should benefit the most from Niskanen's prolonged absence.
10. Erik Haula, C/LW, Golden Knights (lower-body injury, IR)
The underrated speedster, who was claimed by Vegas from Minnesota in the expansion draft, was playing an important role for his new team (centering the third line). That must now be placed on hold for at least a little while, as Haula has landed on Injured Reserve. The good news for the Golden Knights is Haula's injury provided the team with a get-out-of-jail card for Vadim Shipachyov, who had been banished temporarily to the AHL.