2017 Fantasy Hockey Injury Report: January 16
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. Victor Hedman, D, Lightning (lower-body injury, out indefinitely)
The top team in the NHL this season will go through some adversity while top blueliner Hedman misses time due to his lower-body ailment. In fact, he is expected to be absent from the Tampa Bay lineup for up to six weeks. In the meantime, some of Tampa Bay's other rearguards will need to puck up the slack: Jake Dotchin, Anton Stralman, Mikhail Sergachev and Dan Girardi should see increased minutes and responsibilities.
2. Sebastian Aho, LW, Hurricanes (concussion, out indefinitely)
This is bad news for the Hurricanes, who made a surge up the Metropolitan Division standings recently but have now gone 2-5-1 in their last eight contests. Aho was a big part of their recent success, with five goals and four assists over that span. He was playing with fellow Finn Teuvo Teravainen and two-way center Jordan Staal but, with Aho out of the lineup for an indefinite period of time, the likes of Elias Lindholm must step up.
3. Andrew Ladd, LW, Islanders (upper-body injury, IR)
The veteran port-sider was enjoying playing on the Islanders' second line alongside potential rookie-of-the-year candidate Mathew Barzal and veteran Jordan Eberle, even though Ladd's production has been fairly pedestrian since becoming an Islander (120 GP, 32-17-49). With the left-winger out of action, multifaceted Anthony Beauvillier has replaced Ladd on Line 2 (and produced 4 points in his last 2 games). Pick him up.
4. Andrew Shaw, RW/C, Canadiens (lower-body injury, IR)
Things have gone from bad to worse for Montreal, as injuries are starting to mount up front. Shaw, who had been playing on the fourth line (but who can fill in at center and work on the top power-play unit, when required), is expected to be absent from the lineup for a significant amount of time. His injury has allowed Daniel Carr to be reinserted into the Canadiens' lineup (after sitting out as a healthy scratch for three games in a row).
5. Derek Ryan, C, Hurricanes (upper-body injury, day to day)
An unsung but valuable player for Carolina, Ryan recently missed two games because of his upper-body ailment. With Carolina now on a 'bye week', there is a good chance the 31-year-old Ryan will return to action later this week (after five days of rest). He has a lot of incentive to do so, since he is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Hurricanes have several young centers waiting to replace Ryan.
6. Sven Andrighetto, RW/LW, Avalanche (leg injury, day to day)
The 24-year-old Swiss winger has endured a difficult 2017-18 campaign, so far. First, Andrighetto lost his spot on Colorado's top line alongside Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen (captain Gabriel Landeskog is now the left-winger on the Avalanche's No. 1 line). Now, Andrighetto is dealing with a pesky leg injury that has seen him miss the Avs' last five contests (all wins). He might struggle to gain consistent ice time when he returns.
7. Phillip Danault, C, Canadiens (concussion, out indefinitely)
It was a scary sight on Saturday night, as Danault lay motionless on the ice after being hit on the side of the head by a Zdeno Chara slap shot in Montreal's rivalry game against Boston. Danault will likely miss significant time now, which is terrible news for a team that is already paper-thin at the center position. With Danault absent, the Habs have moved winger Paul Byron to the center position as a temporary solution. More is needed.
8. Kevin Hayes, C, Rangers (lower-body injury, day to day)
He may not be the Rangers' most talented center (Mika Zibanejad is) but Hayes might be the team's most important pivot. He plays in all game situations and sees a ton of ice time, so hopefully he can return to action soon. J.T. Miller has moved from wing to center to help curb the loss of Hayes for the time being. Veteran playmaker David Desharnais is also going to see more ice time whenever Hayes is missing in action.
9. Bobby Ryan, RW/LW, Senators (hand injury, day to day)
The 30-year-old veteran has been dealing with hand issues for most of the past two seasons, so it should surprise no one that he is once again sidelined because of his hand. A four-time 30-goal man in Anaheim, Ryan's goal-scoring ability has been sapped by his injury woes (he has just five markers this season). Ryan fantasy owners may start thinking about finding an alternative to Ottawa's No. 9. He could easily be dropped.
10. Ryan McDonagh, D, Rangers (undisclosed injury, day to day)
McDonagh is (arguably) New York's most indispensable player, since he sees loads of ice time in all situations and also captains the squad. His production has been steady this season, as well, despite zero goals in 39 games (19 assists). He has been playing mostly with Nick Holden this season, with Brady Skjei paired up with Kevin Shattenkirk. Since the latter has struggled in his first season in New York, McDonagh's return is vital.