2017 Fantasy Hockey Injury Report: November 21
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. Brad Marchand, LW, Bruins (undisclosed, IR)
One of the NHL's top scorers last season, Marchand was off to yet another fantastic start in 2017-18 (14 GP, 8-7-15) before going down to injury. Boston is being rather secretive about the elite super-pest's ailment but there is good news on the horizon: Marchand is practicing again with his teammates. Therefore, he could be closing in on a return to action. Marchand fantasy owners rejoice, as there are few who can match his production.
2. Alexander Wennberg, C, Blue Jackets (upper-body injury, day to day)
When 2017-18 began, Wennberg was considered the favorite to center the Blue Jackets' No. 1 scoring line alongside Russian sniper Artemi Panarin. However, the Swedish playmaker was off to a slow start (18 GP, 1-8-9) before his upper-body issue occurred. Currently, captain Nick Foligno and rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois are seeing time on Panarin's line. However, Wennberg is expected to go back on Panarin's line upon his return.
3. Artturi Lehkonen, LW/RW, Canadiens (lower-body injury, IR)
Arguably Montreal's most consistent player since the start of their disastrous 2017-18 campaign (so far), Lehkonen is expected to be out of the lineup for an indefinite period of time. That is terrible news for both the young Finnish winger and the team, since Lehkonen had been skating on the team's top line with converted center Jonathan Drouin. Lehkonen's value to the Canadiens is higher than it is to his fantasy owners.
4. Scott Hartnell, LW, Predators (lower-body injury, IR)
Originally drafted by Nashville in 2000 (No. 6 overall), Hartnell returned to his original club this off-season after 10 seasons away. Early on, the 35-year-old veteran was off to a decent start and was also seeing regular time on the Predators' power play. However, Hartnell's lower-body injury will cost him several games and might even cost him a spot among Nashville's top-nine forwards upon his return. He should be dropped in most leagues.
5. Zach Parise, LW, Wild (back surgery, IR)
Well, at least now there is a definitive timetable for Parise's return, following back surgery that is expected to keep him out of the Wild lineup for the next two months. Therefore, the former Devils star winger will be back in action for Minnesota before the end of the regular season. That said, will Parise still be an offensive factor upon his return to the lineup? The Wild seem to be moving on without him. Parise's value is at an all-time low.
6. Martin Frk, LW/RW, Red Wings (groin injury, day to day)
The Czech sniper has worked hard to get back into the good graces of the Red Wings' coaching staff, after being lost via waivers to Carolina early on in 2016-17. Frk was waived again and wound up back with the Wings last season, though he spent the rest of '16-17 in the AHL. This season, he was off to a solid start at the NHL level and was becoming a weapon on Detroit's power play before going down with his current groin problem.
7. Anders Bjork, LW/RW, Bruins (undisclosed, IR)
Like Marchand, Bjork's current injury seems to be a big secret. Unlike Marchand, however, the Bruins' rookie is not ready to return to practice (and is expected to be out of action for at least a few more games). A prolific scorer with the University of Notre Dame for three years, Bjork is a strong top-six winger option for Boston (so long as he recovers from his current issue). He may even play with Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.
8. Jay Bouwmeester, D, Blues (returning from a fractured ankle)
Somewhat of a forgotten defenseman in St. Louis, the man known as 'J-Bo' is returning from a fractured ankle that he suffered during preseason play. Now 34, Bouwmeester has been far less lucky with injuries since arriving in St. Louis in 2013. He missed just one game last season, but 20 more the previous two campaigns. Prior to that, he had appeared in all 82 games for eight full NHL seasons. He is no longer a fantasy factor.
9. Tobias Enstrom, D, Jets (lower-body injury, IR)
Veteran Enstrom is winding down a solid NHL career, especially considering his diminutive stature and the average ice time he has logged for much of his time in the big league. That is starting to catch up to Enstrom these days, as he has become somewhat injury-prone late in his career. Dustin Byfuglien's regular defense partner for years, the Jets may not miss a beat now that Ben Chiarot has replaced Enstrom in the lineup.
10. Vladislav Kamenev, C/LW, Avalanche (broken arm, IR)
It has been a whirlwind series of weeks for the Russian forward. First, he was traded from the Nashville Predators to the Avalanche in the massive, three-team trade involving Matt Duchene and Kyle Turris. Then, Colorado decided to call him up to the big league to see what he can provide his new squad. Unfortunately, Kamenev broke his arm in his first game with the Avs and will miss significant time. He is a fantasy keeper.