2017 Fantasy Hockey Injury Report: November 28
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. Evgeni Malkin, C, Penguins (upper-body injury, day to day)
The Penguins' superstar has now missed four straight games due to his upper-body ailment. However, there is a chance he may be back this weekend. In the meantime, captain Sidney Crosby has stepped up his game during Malkin's absence and Riley Sheahan has taken over second-line center duties. Sheahan has produced two assists in his last four games. His fantasy stock may all but disappear once Malkin returns to the lineup.
2. Rickard Rakell, W/C, Ducks (upper-body injury, day to day)
Anaheim continues to be ravaged by injuries this season, with versatile Swede Rakell the latest in a long line of Ducks players to go on the shelf. Rakell had been producing very good numbers (22 GP, 8-10-18) so far in 2017-18, while playing both left wing and center for the team. Rakell might not miss too much more time, so his fantasy value should remain intact (especially due to his position versatility). Pick Rakell up, if still available.
3. Evgenii Dadonov, RW/LW, Panthers (shoulder injury, out indefinitely)
The Panthers' new top-line right-winger this season (replacing Jaromir Jagr), Dadonov's return to the NHL from the KHL had been a big positive for Florida. In fact, the skilled Russian was on pace for a career-high 67 points. With Dadonov out, skilled Swiss forward Denis Malgin was recalled from the AHL and immediately placed on Florida's No. 1 line alongside Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau. Malgin is worth picking up.
4. David Perron, LW/RW, Golden Knights (upper-body injury, day to day)
One of the main reasons why Vegas has been so successful in the early stages of the franchise's existence has been the balanced lineup. Losing Perron could put a damper on their scoring prowess for the next few games, though it does provide Brendan Leipsic an opportunity to move up in the lineup to play with Erik Haula and sniper James Neal. Leipsic could be an interesting, short-term solution for fantasy leaguers in need.
5. Steve Mason, G, Jets (concussion, IR)
If Mason had not yet lost the Jets' No. 1 goaltending job to Connor Hellebuyck officially, this ill-timed injury could put a nail in that coffin (at least for the rest of 2017-18). Mason's numbers so far in his first season in Winnipeg have been rather forgettable (8 GP, 2-4-1, 3.45 GAA, .904 Sv%), which further cements Hellebuyck's status. Rookie Eric Comrie has been recalled and could now be worth a look in very deep fantasy leagues.
6. Antti Raanta, G, Coyotes (upper-body injury, day to day)
This is not a repeat, but Raanta is once again on the shelf due to injury. Earlier in the campaign, the Finnish netminder had missed nine games due to a lower-body issue. Now, Raanta is reportedly out due to an upper-body ailment. This is now a golden opportunity for former Devils prospect Scott Wedgewood, who should earn most of the starts while Raanta is absent. Wedgewood should be owned in virtually all league formats.
7. Kris Versteeg, LW/RW, Flames (lower-body injury, day to day)
The veteran playmaker had recently been demoted to the fourth line, so his absence may not seem like a big deal to fantasy leaguers. However, Versteeg was part of Calgary's No. 1 power-play unit (with Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Micheal Ferland and T.J. Brodie), so he should continue to display decent value upon his return (even if he continues to skate on the fourth line). Mark Giordano has replaced him on the power play.
8. Brandon Sutter, C, Canucks (undisclosed injury, IR)
While Sutter is not a big point producer, he had been seeing loads of ice time for the Canucks this season. In fact, only fellow center Bo Horvat has averaged more minutes among Vancouver forwards in 2017-18. To fill Sutter's shoes during his absence, veteran center Henrik Sedin could see a lot more ice time (which may also lead to a lot more production from the veteran Swedish captain). Sutter's injury has a trickle-down effect.
9. Ryan McDonagh, D, Rangers (strained abdominal muscle, day to day)
New York's captain and No. 1 defenseman was on pace to set a new career mark in points before going down to injury--despite not scoring a goal yet in 2017-18. Surprisingly, the Blueshirts have won all three games since McDonagh was injured. That said, the club would rather not tempt fate and have him miss too many more contests. Nick Holden has seen his ice time rise above the 21-minute mark twice in the last three contests.
10. David Schlemko, D, Canadiens (returning from a hand injury)
After being selected in the 2017 Expansion Draft by Vegas, then shipped to Montreal via trade, then on the shelf for over one month due to his pesky hand injury, plus two conditioning assignments in the AHL, Schlemko is FINALLY ready to get his 2017-18 campaign going. While he might be brought back slowly, Schlemko seems destined to eventually wind up partnering Shea Weber on Montreal's top pairing. Keep an eye on Schlemko.