Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 29)

With Dylan Strome coming back into the Coyotes lineup on Tuesday night, someone had to come out of the lineup and it was Anthony Duclair that drew the short straw, as his game hasn't really improved all that much, since the last time he was up in the press box as a scratch.  The Coyotes still dropped a 3-2 decision against the Oilers in overtime, so there might still be some changes to come yet.

In that loss to the Oilers, defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson left the game in the 2nd period, due to an upper-body injury and there are some fears that this could be related to the last upper-body injury that cost him 10 games earlier this season.  There has been no confirmation of that, but it's something that we're looking out for.

Both Duclair and Hjalmarsson may have been decent picks at the draft, but they haven't exactly worked out to be that way in the first segment of the year, which I'm sure both Wilton and Stacey M. could attest to.  I wouldn't be surprised, if one or both, were dropped at this Waiver Draft.  Both pool teams have gotten off to good starts this week, no thanks to these two though.

The durability of Jaromir Jagr is still a little bit of a question mark these days, even though he was able to suit up for all 82 games in Florida last year, the lower-body injuries are slowly starting to pile up a little bit.  The certain Hall of Famer had to sit out of last night's game against the Maple Leafs, due to the ailment and he is currently listed as day-to-day, but with the Flames playing next on Thursday night, with the Coyotes in town, it will be interesting to see if Jagr dresses for this one.

Ryan took a flyer on Jagr this season, picking him up before he signed with the Flames, but since then, he's only seen 6 points in 14 games, which could be grounds enough to be rid of him in the 2nd round of the Waiver Draft.  Some interesting decisions to be made there.

It was a late scratch for New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad, who deemed himself unable to play against the Panthers on Tuesday night, due to an upper-body injury.  The team's number one centre did take the pregame skate, ahead of their 5-4 loss, but pulled the chute shortly thereafter, giving David Desharnais a spot in the lineup for the night.  Zibanejad is considered day-to-day right now, but he'll likely be reevaluated in the next day or so and we should get a better picture here soon.

If Zibanejad was good enough for the pregame warm-up, then Brian shouldn't panic about any long-term injury for one of his best forwards in the pool, thus far.  It's a quiet week for the Rangers, their next (and last) game this week is on Friday, so even if he misses that game and comes back next week, he'd have ample time to rest.

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