The New Jersey Devils lost the services of forward Kyle Palmieri last night against the Philadelphia Flyers, but as of Thursday morning, it was still unclear, as to what injury he had actually suffered. He was taken out along the boards and slow to get up, but he did manage to skate off on his own, so the suggestion may be more upper-body than anything. The team has said that it is just a minor tweak and they don't consider the injury serious, so that's good news.
Palmieri has a broad spectrum of projections, as the Sportsnet Magazine has his ceiling as high as 60 points, even on a poor Devils team (on paper). The other four projections I have range then between 35 and 47 points, which is still fairly broad. If he is healthy going into next week, he could be a very good bargain pick.
An update on the team captain, Patrik Elias, as his knee injury is not progressing the way anyone has wanted it to and his availability for opening night, Friday, at home to Winnipeg, is definitely in doubt. In fact, there is some indication that Elias might start the year on the Injured Reserve, which would be retroactive to his injury in the preseason, so there would be no minimum amount of days off in the season, it would just open up a roster spot for someone for opening night and however many nights they would need that replacement afterwards.
Elias has seen a decline in his production over the past few years and this injury situation has me more skeptical about what he is going to accomplish this season. Initially, I had a projection in the 40-point range, but I have now dropped it to the 30-point range, the lowest of the all the projections seen thus far.
The Minnesota Wild are having a few injury issues down the middle of the ice and we can add Erik Haula's name to the list of centres with day-to-day ailments. Haula is currently on the shelf with a groin issue, which he reportedly suffered in Wednesday's practice. It sounds like his availability for practice and preseason games is going to be fairly limited before the season starts, but there is no indication, as of yet, that he'll miss opening night.
Depending on how deep the draft goes on Saturday, it would be a long way to go to get to a forward like Haula, who is being projected between 15-to-22 points, but who knows? There's a possibility.
There appears to be more of an update on the status of Pavel Datsyuk, as he is now expected to resume skating on his surgically repaired ankle in the next couple of weeks, to which he would need a couple more weeks to get back into game shape on skates, which should put him into early November. This is really something to consider, if you're going to take a gamble on Datsyuk.
When do you take Datsyuk? If he is to miss the first four weeks of the season or the entire month of October, that is already 11 games off that he will miss. Let's say that he remains a point-per-game player upon his return, that is still a 71-point season, but you don't start collecting until Week Five. It will be interesting to see how that works in the draft.
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