Sunday, September 16, 2018
Morning Training Camp Notes (Sep 16)
Collecting some more injury news and notes, as we move through the early days of training camp, and we've found that St. Louis Blues number one goalie Jake Allen is currently dealing with some back spasms this week. The word is that he is making some progress with the ailment and that he could be back on the ice very soon. The initial reports were suggesting that he could be out 10-to-14 days, which was back on Wednesday, so the team is feeling confident in their keeper.
I am not worrying about his fantasy value just yet. Once he makes his way to a preseason game, I'm sure he'll have all the kinks worked out. It will be if he doesn't play in this preseason, where the real concern comes.
The Arizona Coyotes opened up training camp without three of their key young players this week: defenseman Jacob Chychrun and forwards Nick Merkley and Christian Dvorak. Chychrun underwent surgery for his MCL back in April and still hasn't been cleared for camp and now the start of the regular season is now in doubt. Prospect forward Merkley is dealing with a knee injury of his own and his participation level through camp is still very uncertain, while Dvorak has a lower-body injury, which is thought to be day-to-day, but there is no timetable for his return, according to the coaching staff.
Of the three, Chychrun probably is the most concerning for us poolies, as he was setting himself up to be a very good bargain pick in the late rounds, if he was to be healthy at the start of the year. The kid has the offensive upside, but health concerns have been a nagging issue. Adjustments may need to be made.
We're keeping an eye on defenseman Matt Hunwick of the Buffalo Sabres is dealing with an upper-body injury and is currently listed as out day-to-day. He is a fringe defenseman, who could work his way into the pool worthiness conversation, if the Sabres bring their game to another level this season. We'll be keeping an eye out for him in this preseason, seeing whether or not he dresses.
Currently, he's projected for a 20-point season on my list, which is just outside the conversation of a 25-team draft, but there could be more teams this year, so he might be one to consider.
The Colorado Avalanche blueline is full of question marks in this preseason, but it is only day-to-day issues today and they'll be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Let's focus on a pair of projected pool worthy defenders today. Erik Johnson suffered a fractured patella at the end of last season and should be good to go for this preseason, we'll just wait for an appearance in a game for reassurance. Nikita Zadorov had off-season shoulder surgery and is projected to be ready for the preseason, since the surgery was done at the start of the summer. They might not get all the reps in the preseason, but they should get some before the start of the regular season.
The Avalanche are on the verge of really breaking out as a whole team this season and these two guys could be really big pieces to their success.
More news for full disclosure... Columbus' Zach Werenski had off-season shoulder surgery and that may have helped to explain some of his poor outings last season, especially in the playoffs. I am expecting some big things from this kid and the Jackets will be a stronger team because of that, but for now, until he suits up in a preseason game, he's considered day-to-day. I don't think there is anything to be too worried about right now, but if there are any setbacks, we at least know why.
A couple of notable day-to-days in the Washington Capitals camp, as defenseman John Carlson and forward Lars Eller are on the shelf with lower-body injuries. Neither seem to be very serious, the team is just being very cautious with a couple of key cogs to their Stanley Cup winning machine last season. One would have to believe that both are just going to patiently wait their turn for a spin in the preseason, but it may not come right away. It's all worth noting, but nothing to panic about.