2017 Fantasy Hockey Injury Report: January 23
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. Martin Jones, G, Sharks (lower-body injury, day to day)
His first two seasons as San Jose's No. 1 goaltender were outstanding and included a long run to the Stanley Cup finals ('15-16). However, things have gone south for Jones in 2017-18. Even before he went down to a lower-body injury, he was losing playing time to second stringer Aaron Dell. Therefore, the latter might continue to play a lot even when Jones returns to action. Jones fantasy owners should be concerned right now.
2. Charlie McAvoy, D, Bruins (heart arrhythmia, out indefinitely)
Hopefully, McAvoy's heart scare is not too serious but he will miss some time in his rookie NHL campaign. This could definitely hurt his Calder trophy aspirations, though he was not the favorite at this point in the season anyway (Islanders center Mathew Barzal is the clubhouse leader at present time). Still, McAvoy's absence may affect Boston in a significant way. Torey Krug and Matt Grzelcyk should pick up the offensive slack.
3. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Oilers (upper-body injury, IR)
Edmonton's disastrous campaign got worse when they lost the services of Nugent-Hopkins last week. Without him, the Oilers are forced to play both Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Strome at center behind Connor McDavid. This hurts the team's overall depth, not to mention the plight of Nugent-Hopkins fantasy owners. With Draisaitl back at center, one of wingers Drake Caggiula and Jesse Puljujarvi should see more action on McDavid's line.
4. Ondrej Palat, LW, Lightning (lower-body injury, out indefinitely)
After losing stud defenseman Victor Hedman recently, the Lightning now find themselves having to deal with the loss of Palat for the next 6-8 weeks. Palat is a fantasy leaguer's dream because of his consistency; what you see is what you get. On pace for another 50-plus points this season, Palat's absence will continue to give veteran Chris Kunitz a chance to play a top-six winger role for Tampa Bay. Kunitz is not really worthy of a pickup.
5. Kevin Shattenkirk, D, Rangers (knee surgery, IR)
Shattenkirk's first season with the team he grew up rooting for has not gone as expected. His point production is down and he ranks last among all Rangers in plus/minus rating (-14). Now, knee surgery will keep the veteran offensive defenseman out of action for the next several weeks. His injury opens the door for offensive defenseman Tony DeAngelo, who should see ample ice time with the man advantage without Shattenkirk.
6. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C, Senators (upper-body injury, IR)
A candidate to be moved by the struggling Senators before the February 26 NHL trade deadline, Pageau--on the other hand--is a player Ottawa may want to keep around beyond this season. Signed through 2019-20, Pageau was recently placed on Injured Reserve because of an upper-body injury. With him out of action, rookie centers Colin White and Filip Chlapik are getting an extended look in the NHL. Both have solid fantasy value.
7. Brian Gibbons, LW/RW, Devils (broken thumb, IR)
One of the most improved players in the National Hockey League this season, Gibbons' absence will hurt the Devils' penalty kill. On pace for 43 points in 2017-18, Gibbons' previous career high at the NHL level was 17 points with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2013-14. Fifth on the team in scoring this season, Gibbons seems to have found a home in New Jersey. That said, he is a candidate to drop now that he will miss significant time.
8. Morgan Rielly, D, Maple Leafs (upper-body injury, IR)
Toronto is slumping and their offense has disappeared since their hot start to the 2017-18 campaign. They have not had a ton of injuries to deal with but are now without their top two blueliners (Nikita Zaitsev, who should be back soon) and Rielly--who will be out through the NHL All-Star break, at least. Rielly leads all Maple Leafs defensemen in scoring, despite his even bigger role as a shutdown blueliner (with partner Ron Hainsey).
9. Taylor Hall, LW, Devils (hand injury, day to day)
After a disappointing first season in New Jersey, Hall is once again producing like one of the top left-wingers in the NHL. In fact, only converted center Claude Giroux, Johnny Gaudreau and Alex Ovechkin have more points among left-wingers than Hall this season. Fortunately for Hall fantasy owners, his hand injury is not expected to keep him out of the Devils' lineup once the All-Star break is over next week. Time to celebrate, people!
10. Sonny Milano, LW/RW, Blue Jackets (oblique injury, IR)
The rookie winger was starting to establish himself as a lineup regular in Columbus when this latest injury set him back a bit. Oblique injuries are tricky and can occasionally linger for a long time, so fantasy leaguers should keep a close eye on Milano before deciding their next move. He is a natural point producer, so players of Milano's ilk should be kept on rosters if there is room. Be patient with the talented, 21-year-old winger.