2017 Fantasy Hockey Injury Report: April 3
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. Steven Stamkos, C/W, Lightning (lower-body injury, day to day)
There is some concern in Tampa Bay these days about the severity of the team captain's injury. Stamkos, who went pointless against New Jersey on March 24, missed the next contest against Arizona because of his lower-body issue, then returned for three games (he went pointless in all 3) and is now back on the shelf. While Stamkos must be owned in all playoff hockey leagues, his ailment will probably knock him out of Round 1.
2. Rasmus Dahlin, D, eligible for the 2018 NHL draft (rest)
The consensus No. 1 prospect available for selection in this year's draft has decided to shut it down for the rest of 2017-18. Dahlin, who participated in both the 2018 WJC in Buffalo and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, will skip both the 2018 world under-18 and IIHF world senior championships. In terms of keepers heading into 2018-19, Dahlin is among the best players who will be available in most leagues.
3. Troy Terry, C, Ducks (undisclosed injury, day to day)
It has been a bit of a whirlwind season for Terry, arguably Anaheim's top prospect. Signed to an entry-level contract last week, which followed the end of his NCAA career at the University of Denver and an appearance for Team USA at the '18 Winter Olympics in South Korea, Terry made his NHL debut and was injured in his first game. While he has huge keeper potential, Terry might not play enough to be considered a playoff pool pickup.
4. Semyon Varlamov, G, Avalanche (knee injury, out indefinitely)
Just as the Avalanche got back quality backup netminder Jonathan Bernier last week, they promptly lost the services of starter Varlamov for (at least) the rest of the regular schedule. The 29-year-old was enjoying a strong, bounce-back campaign (51 GP, 24-16-6, 2 SO, 2.68 GAA, .920 Sv%) so his loss could really hurt Colorado's chances of making the playoffs in the Western Conference. Varlamov should be avoided in most playoff drafts.
5. Derick Brassard, C, Penguins (lower-body injury, day to day)
Pittsburgh's third-line center has missed the team's last three contests because of his lower-body issue, though Brassard is expected to be healthy when the playoffs get under way next week. The 30-year-old veteran has produced eight points in 14 games as a Penguin, including six in the last seven that he suited up for. He could be a late-round steal in some playoff formats if he returns to full health, but who will be his linemates? Phil Kessel?
6. Ryan Suter, D, Wild (fractured ankle, out for the rest of the season)
Fantasy leaguers will not feel the loss of Suter nearly as much as the Wild will in the postseason, though he would have been a solid fantasy playoff blueliner had he been healthy. Due to a fractured ankle suffered against the Dallas Stars last week, Suter will need ankle surgery and will not return to action until 2018-19. Minnesota would have been an underdog even with Suter during the playoffs. Now? They are a major long shot, at best.
7. Rick Nash, RW/LW, Bruins (upper-body injury, day to day)
Despite the fact he has been classified as 'day to day', Nash has now missed the Bruins' last eight games because of his upper-body issue. In his 11 games with Boston prior to the injury, after arriving from New York via trade, the veteran winger produced three goals and six points. For those fantasy leaguers in playoff hockey pools, Nash could be a late-round pick if he returns to action this week. However, he comes with some risk.
8. Cam Fowler, D, Ducks (upper-body injury, day to day)
The 26-year-old Fowler was injured in Sunday's overtime win against Colorado. In fact, he did not appear in extra time as a result of the issue, which occurred when Avalanche winger Blake Comeau checked Fowler into the boards. If Anaheim reaches the postseason, Fowler would have been a decent, late-round defensive draft pick. However, he is no longer recommendable as long as he remains out of the Ducks lineup. Buyer beware!
9. Nick Foligno, C/W, Blue Jackets (lower-body injury, out indefinitely)
The Columbus captain has already missed three games due to his lower-body ailment and is not expected back until the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs (at least). In fact, Foligno may need 2-4 weeks to recover from his latest injury. Since Columbus will not be favored to advance past Round 1 in the postseason, and since they are not among the highest-scoring teams in the NHL this season, Foligno is not a recommended playoff selection.
10. Linus Ullmark, G, Sabres (upper-body injury, day to day)
It is a shame that Ullmark was injured after appearing in just four games during his latest recall from the American Hockey League. After all, the 24-year-old Swede may be considered Buffalo's goaltender of the future (with Robin Lehner scheduled for restricted free agency and Chad Johnson a pending UFA). Ullmark has some keeper appeal as a result of his status with the Sabres, though the hockey club needs to make major changes.