Thursday, November 17, 2011

Draft Player News (Nov. 17)

A nasty tumble for Brent Seabrook in Sunday's game against the Edmonton Oilers was enough to keep the veteran defenseman out of Wednesday's game against the Canucks.  Seabrook is said to have a lower-body injury, likely a leg injury, after his awkward fall into the boards, not necessarily caused by another player on the ice.  Seabrook is considered day-to-day and is questionable for the team's next game, which goes Friday night in Calgary.

Seabrook is off to an okay start to the year, scoring 1 goal and 6 assists in 18 games this year, not quite at the half a point-per-game pace you would prefer to have your defensemen score at, but he is still ranked okay at 276th in the league, 52nd among all defensemen, so he's not in terrible shape.  It doesn't sound like the injury is too serious, so he shouldn't lose too much in the rankings before coming back.

Seabrook belongs to Dale B. in the draft this year, who took him 118th overall, so there is a bit of a drop-off in overall pool value, but he was taken after some of the big runs on defensemen this season, which can make this pick somewhat reasonable.  In fairness, Seabrook is only 5 points back of the player who is in 118th spot in pool scoring, so it isn't like he is too far off of where he was picked this season.

Bad news for the Minnesota Wild, as they may have lost their number one defenseman for a little while, as Marek Zidlicky is feared to have a concussion.

Zidlicky left Monday night's game against the Blue Jackets after getting hit by Derek Dorsett, leaving the game with an upper-body injury, later described as getting his bell rung by the Wild coaching staff, which is not a good sign.  If that is the case, Zidlicky will be missing at least the next week's worth of action and likely more, depending on the severity of the injury.  Horrible news for the club.

In 18 games this year, Zidlicky has only managed to register 6 assists, which isn't great production from the top defenseman on the team, which is somewhat surprising, given how well the Wild have been playing this year.  Still, no team wants to take out his experience and potential for scoring at any time during the season.

In the draft, Zidlicky belongs to the top team in the pool, owned by Wayne H., who currently has a 5-point cushion on 2nd place and is having a pretty good start to the week, tied for second in weekly scoring with 10 points through Wednesday's action.  I don't think Zidlicky will break his spirits, although you would think that a few teams behind him would certainly hope that would be the case.

The New York Islanders were fortunate to finally give a season debut to Nino Niederreiter on Tuesday night after spending the first part of the season on the injured reserve, but the team had to make some room for the new addition. This gave the club the perfect opportunity to scratch Kyle Okposo, who has not had a good start to the NHL season at all. Okposo was made into a healthy scratch for the first time this year and watched the game versus the Rangers from the press box.

Just how bad has his start been?  In 14 games this year, the young power forward has only registered 3 assists, which is the same scoring rate as veteran defenseman and teammate, Steve Staios, who is not considered to be much of an offensive threat, especially in the twilight of his career.  Yes, Okoposo is off to a rough start, so the team hopes that a scratch will put a charge into him and get him going again.

This is also likely what Wes M. hopes to see out of Okposo, since he made the American forward into his 7th round pick this season, 149th overall in the draft.  Right now, Okposo is ranked 482nd in pool scoring in the league, so there has been no return for a mid-round pick yet this year.  Wes currently sits in 14th place in the standings with 126 points, 31 points out of 3rd place.

On Wednesday afternoon, the NHL had decided to suspend St. Louis Blues forward Chris Stewart for three games for his shove from behind on Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall from Tuesday night. Stewart shoved Kronwall while in a vulnerable position, as they both headed towards the boards to play a loose puck, sending the defenseman into an off-balance tumble and causing a violent collision with the boards.  On the play, the officials assessed a 5-minute major and a game misconduct, but the league decided that more discipline was needed in his matter, giving the young forward a 3-game ban for his poor decision.

It hasn't been a great start to the season for Stewart in St. Louis, having only 3 goals and 2 assists in the first 17 games of the year and now adding a suspension to his year, won't likely sit well with him right away.  Stewart will be eligible to return to the team next week, as the Blues play in somewhat of a sporadic schedule over the next 10 days.

As far as time away from the pool, three games isn't too bad for one player, so it could be considered to be much worse for Kristy and Don, who have Stewart in the draft this year.  Probably the worst thing about having Stewart is that he only has 5 points in 17 games.  The duo are sitting in good shape to this point in the season, ranking 7th in the standings with 145 points, right in the thick of the good races this year.

The Maple Leafs were not very fortunate in their 3-2 shootout loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night, as they lost the services of both Clarke MacArthur and Mikhail Grabovski in that game, both having left the game and not returning.

MacArthur left the game with an upper-body injury and his status is unclear for Thursday night's game in Nashville, but I would have to believe that his availability may be doubtful right now, but we'll just consider him day-to-day for the time being.

Grabovski, on the other hand, will miss at least the next two weeks with a lower-body injury, which is a little bit more severe than his teammate's injury.  Grabovski was hurt in a collision with the Coyotes' Martin Hanzal, leaving the game in the 2nd period and not returning.

The Leafs will be missing out on a lot of their scoring with these two injuries, MacArthur already has 6 goals and 2 assists in 15 games for the Leafs this year, while Grabovski has 5 goals and 5 assists in 18 games.  With the team starting to fall out of the top half of the Eastern Conference playoff standings, they'll need their depth to step up and replace this scoring, just so they can right the ship a little bit.

MacArthur belongs to the 9th place team, belonging to Brenda F., who has 142 points through Wednesday night's action, while Grabovski belongs to Dale B., who currently sits in 5th with 147 points.  Both players have been bringing some offense to their pool teams and any extended absences may hurt their team going forward.

In the Canucks' win over the Islanders on Sunday night, starting goalie Roberto Luongo suffered a minor upper-body injury, but wasn't tested to harshly in the 3rd period, when he suffered the injury, so he was able to finish the game and register the win. On Wednesday night, Luongo was not dressed for the game against the Blackhawks, because of this upper-body injury, and the start was given to Cory Schneider.  The Canucks maintain that this injury is minor and that Luongo will likely be back before too long, but we'll have to wait and see.

After Wednesday night's action, Luongo is ranked 71st in pool scoring with 14 points, thanks to his 7 wins this year, which isn't quite top end goaltending in the pool to this point in the season, which does explain a little while the Canucks are still .500 at this point in the season.  Nevertheless, he is only 4 points back of being worthy of a 1st round selection, so it isn't like his season has gotten off to the worst start possible.

In the draft, Luongo belongs to Jani K. this season, who currently sits in 13th spot with 126 points, only 12 points out of the top 10 right now.  Jani's goaltending is doing fairly well, with average minutes played and above average point rates from his goaltending, which has led to 24 points from the crease, right on the average mark throughout the 22 teams.  If Luongo's injury is a bit more significant, he will certainly see a drop in the standings.

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