Bad news on Saturday morning, as Nathan Horton has been diagnosed with a fracturued leg and he is now expected to be off the ice for the next six weeks. Horton took a puck off the leg in Thursday night's contest against the Islanders and was not able to get off the ice easily. After further examination, Horton will now miss an extended period of time.
The silver lining, as I read in an article today, is that the Olympic Break is coming up very shortly and there is a significant benefit on the schedule that Horton may not miss as many games as six weeks may normally have him miss.
Horton is having an excellent season with the Panthers, scoring 17 goals and 29 assists in 51 games this year, averaging just under a point-per-game this season, which is a real bright spot for the Panthers. His excellent season is measured even better by his ranking in pool scoring this year, as he sat in 35th spot going into Saturday's action. In the Draft this year, that would equate to being an early 3rd round pick, which is a bargain from the 10th round pick that he was this year.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, they go into Saturday's action 3 points out of the 8th playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, as they host the Maple Leafs. If Horton is to miss the next two to four weeks of action, that could seriously put a dent in the team's playoff hopes and quickly.
In the Draft, Horton was a 10th round pick of our pool leader, Leon, who has a 30-point lead going into Saturday's action. A significant time away from the team could mean a loss of 15 to 20 points that he could have expected with Horton in the line-up, so this is a pretty big blow to his shot at winning. Thankfully for him, he has a pretty deep team as it is and should survive this scare, if this is the only one he has to face.
On the Sheet, Horton is a member of Box 19, where he wasn't a favourite of the pool this year. He wasn't selected at all this season and ranks 2nd in points, only 5 behind Steven Stamkos of the Lightning. Definitely not expecting any trades there.