The Edmonton Oilers announced on Friday that defenseman Andrew Ference did not pass his physical on Thursday, coming off of off-season hip surgery, so his 2017 campaign will be on hold indefinitely. Ference was not projected to be a hockey pool defenseman this season, especially given the new depth on the Oilers' blueline, but in case we go really deep this year, it's just good to know who is hurt and who isn't.
How deep are you digging for sleepers? Did you trip over Jason Dickinson in Dallas, perhaps? Okay, sure, it is unlikely that you did, but on that rare occasion, he has also undergone off-season hip surgery and the team has projected his return to be into November. The 21-year old isn't in as dire straits as Ference is above him, but he did figure into one game last season for the Stars and registered a point in that game, so you just never know where that depth would end up for him.
Okay, how about some actual news from Dallas? Pool worthy forward Cody Eakin suffered a minor lower-body injury in the opening days of training camp and he'll be day-to-day and taking some time away from the off-ice drills. Doesn't sound like it will be anything significant, but who's really to say when you're dealing with some teams, right? We'll be keeping a close eye on Eakin, as he is projected to be in the 40-point range early on. A lingering injury could take that down a little bit, as we draw closer to the draft.
An injury to rookie forward Mikko Rantanen will limit his training camp and preseason to just about nothing, as the top prospect for the Avalanche suffered an ankle injury a week ago and the team has suggested that he would need 2-to-4 weeks to recover. He is a week into that recovery already, but ankle injuries are troublesome bastards, so you may want to take a grain of salt with him, until he can go in a preseason game.
Rantanen figures to be a big piece of the puzzle in Colorado and his early projections do make him pool worthy in my draft, so if you're looking at the rookie race, he could be a good option.