Opening day of drills for the Dallas Stars and they were without a couple of their veteran players, Rich Peverley and Aaron Rome.
Peverley reportedly had a bit of a blip on his EKG tests, which he is getting checked out for over the next day or so, just as a precaution. Good to see the team getting ahead of the curve on this one, but there is no more than can be said about it right away.
Rome, on the other hand, had minor hip surgery not long ago and hasn't been cleared for action just yet, but it sounds like he is relatively close. I don't think Rome is a hockey pool defenseman, but just in case you're thinking of finding sleepers in the craziest of places, you may want to avoid Rome.
The number two overall pick in this Summer's draft, Alexander Barkov, the Panthers' prized possession, is still recovering from some off-season shoulder surgery and is not participating in early drills with his new team at camp.
Barkov was considered one of the closest prospects to be NHL-ready at the draft in June, obviously not taking into account his injury, but when he is ready to go, he should get a long look at camp. With the way that the Panthers' depth is shaping up, Barkov may be a welcome addition to the team.
I don't have a projection out for him yet, but if and when he hits the ice for Florida, we'll see what is said and try to assign him a projection before too long.
Also on the list now, Panthers' rookie forward Nick Bjugstad, who is now officially following the NHL protocol for concussions. Bjugstad reportedly suffered the concussion at the rookie tournament that the Panthers held before camp.
I have given Bjugstad a projection of about 25 points, but with the concussion protocol in place, I would be very hesitant to look at him. He may still be a good prospect to look at, but be weary.
If there is anything to hope for heading into the draft with an injury prone player in mind for my team, I would hope that he would be on the ice for the first day of drills in training camp. Joffrey Lupul is not off to a great start, sitting out the opening day of drills with back spasms, which has raised another red flag, heading into the draft.
I think Lupul is a good player, who has really good success with his current Toronto linemates, but he has to be on the ice for that success to translate into your pool team. It's still early in camp, but when I'm watching injury prone players, they are riding a fine line.