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. Jack Eichel, C, Sabres (ankle injury, out indefinitely)
If it weren't for bad luck, Eichel would have none at all. Now out indefinitely because of a high ankle sprain, Eichel missed 32 games due to injury last season (his sophomore campaign). It is too bad, because the 21-year-old Eichel was flirting with the point-per-game mark (55 GP, 22-31-53) this season. Since Buffalo is out of the playoff picture, Eichel could be shut down for the rest of 2017-18. Eichel owners need to find a replacement.
2. Cory Schneider, G, Devils (groin, IR)
The Devils, arguably the best story in the Eastern Conference this season, are beginning to slide (after leading the Metropolitan Division earlier in 2017-18). Part of the problem is Schneider's groin issue, which has now forced him to sit out the last eight games (and counting). The 31-year-old Schneider is arguably New Jersey's second-most important player (after leading scorer Taylor Hall). Keith Kinkaid is struggling as the replacement.
3. Tage Thompson, RW, Blues (undisclosed injury, day to day)
Thompson, son of former NHL defenseman Brent Thompson, is an emerging force. He was starting to establish himself on the Blues' third line before he went down to injury. That said, he is not expected to be out long term. The 20-year-old is someone who should already be drafted in most keeper leagues, but may be a year away from true fantasy relevance in non-keeper formats. For now, monitor his injury situation with St. Louis closely.
4. Brian Elliott, G, Flyers (lower-body injury, day to day)
Last week, Elliott was dealing with a lower-body ailment that forced him to miss four games. He returned to action and won two games in a row before going down once again. The 32-year-old veteran may be dealing with the same injury as before, so Elliott owners need to be prepared for a longer absence this time around. Philadelphia will try to ride backup Michal Neuvirth during Elliott's latest injury but Neuvirth is also injury-prone.
5. Ryan McDonagh, D, Rangers (upper-body injury, day to day)
A current subject of several trade rumors (McDonagh has been linked to deals with both Tampa Bay and Boston, among other destinations), the Rangers' clear No. 1 defenseman has missed the past two contests due to his upper-body ailment. Since the Blueshirts have already announced their intention to trade away some of their veteran players, it is primordial for all parties concerned that McDonagh return to action as soon as possible.
6. Sam Gagner, C/W, Canucks (sprained ankle, IR)
The 28-year-old Gagner missed one contest last week due to a concussion. He returned to game action against the Florida Panthers on the road and promptly suffered an ankle injury. Gagner has now missed three straight games. Since he is under contract for the next two more seasons, the versatile playmaker could be an interesting trade target for contending teams before the February 26 deadline. However, he must get healthy.
7. Malcolm Subban, G, Golden Knights (upper-body injury, IR)
One of the best backup goaltenders in the National Hockey League this season, the 24-year-old Subban could be out for a few weeks because of his upper-body issue. Subban's 11 wins leads all rookie netminders in 2017-18, but Pittsburgh's Tristan Jarry (9) may catch him should Subban miss significant time. With Subban out, expect No. 1 man Marc-Andre Fleury to carry the mail for the Golden Knights through most of February.
8. Joel Edmundson, D, Blues (broken forearm, IR)
One of the Blues' steadiest performers this season, Edmundson's loss may be felt along the St. Louis blueline. Edmundson, who is currently ranked fourth in the NHL in blocked shots, has also registered the fifth-most hits on the Blues in 2017-18. Therefore, he offers a little fantasy value in deep-stat leagues. There should be more minutes for the likes of rookie defenseman Vince Dunn and third-year pro Colton Parayko in the coming weeks.
9. Ondrej Pavelec, G, Rangers (sprained MCL, IR)
Just when it appeared that the Rangers were contemplating lightening starter Henrik Lundqvist's workload, backup Pavelec went down with a knee injury--forcing Lundqvist to continue to log huge minutes in the crease. In fact, Lundqvist's new backup is 22-year-old Russian puck-stopper Alexandar Georgiev--who has never appeared in an NHL game yet. The Rangers should give him some action with the team in retooling mode.
10. Troy Brouwer, RW, Flames (facial injury, IR)
While veteran Brouwer's numbers this season are nothing to write home about (54 GP, 3-12-15), he was seeing regular duty on both special teams for the Flames. His unfortunate facial injury, plus Michael Frolik's earlier injury situation, Kris Versteeg's recovery from a lower-body issue and Jaromir Jagr's departure to the Czech Republic, could force Flames GM Brad Treliving into trading for more right wing help before the February 26 deadline.