Here’s all you need to know about injuries in preparation for your draft. For timely updates throughout the season, follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza!
Patrice Bergeron – The Bruins’ forward is suffering from back spasms which threaten to keep him sidelined as the season begins. The team hopes to see Bergeron participate in some preseason hockey, which remains a possibility as the medical stuff evaluate him daily.
Sean Monahan – The Flames’ forward had not one, not two, not three, but four surgeries this offseason (wrist, groin, and two hernia). While most players need some time to adjust their game after surgery, the nature of these procedures was slightly different. Now, he feels “more flexible, more mobile, meaner and stronger.”
Victor Rask – Hockey is a dangerous sport. Cooking is a dangerous sport. Victor Rask underwent surgery on his fourth and fifth fingers after a food slicing incident in the kitchen. He’s going to be out a few months…
Brock Boeser – After a scary back injury that cut his impressive rookie season short, Brock Boeser is healthy and ready to show everyone he’s immune to the sophomore slump. He had a chance to play in a summer hockey league during the offseason, and wasn’t held back by any lingering effects from previous injuries.
Matthew Tkachuk – An undisclosed injury might keep the Flames’ forward out of Wednesday’s preseason contest against the Bruins. At this point, the team doesn’t believe it to be anything serious, and will make a decision based on how Tkachuk feels in the pre-game skate.
Vladimir Tarasenko – The Blues’ forward has had five months to recover from reconstructive shoulder surgery and will be cleared to play soon. He was expected to need four to six months of rehabilitation, so we’re right in the middle of that timeframe. He is currently skating, and revealed his shooting is getting back to normal. With that said, don’t be surprised if he needs a few games to get back into the swing of things.
Taylor Hall – The 2018 Hart Trophy winner played more than half of last season with a hand injury, yet somehow still managed 93 points in 76 games. While he did have surgery this offseason to repair torn ligaments in his hand, I’d expect he enters the 2019-2020 season with a clean bill of health.
Sean Couturier – Has been skating recently after suffering a lower-body injury during a charity hockey game in early August. The team is being extremely cautious with his recovery, making sure everything is completely healed before they take any further steps. I wouldn’t expect Couturier to miss any regular season action as a result of this injury.
Nico Hischier – Played through a wrist/hand injury during the entirety of last season. Despite this, the first overall pick of the 2017 draft managed 52 points in 82 games. As he enters the 2018-2019 campaign with a clean bill of health, let’s hope he can take another step forward.
Dustin Brown – The Kings’ forward a surgical procedure on his shoulder in April, but shouldn’t miss the start of this season. Whether he’s healthy or not, I wouldn’t expect him to replicate the 61 points he tallied last season.
Joe Thornton – The Sharks’ forward is feeling 100 percent, he said so himself. Even coach Pete DeBoer noticed how much better Thornton looks in training camp this year compared to last year. It is important to note that Jumbo Joe is now 39 and has suffered two major knee injuries in the past two seasons, buyer beware.
Conor Sheary – An upper-body injury has the Sabres’ forward listed as week-to-week. According to coach Phil Housley, Sheary suffered the injury while being checked during the first day of training camp.
Ryan Kesler – Complications related to the hip surgery he had last June might cause him to miss a significant portion of the 2018-2019 season, if not the whole thing. Kesler’s effectiveness was extremely limited last season, as he had to completely change his skating style because of the surgery. The Ducks’ forward has been skating, but has not been cleared for contact. I wouldn’t target him in any drafts until we get a more encouraging update.
Patrick Eaves – The Ducks’ forward was hospitalized with Guillain-Barre syndrome (a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system) last year. Since then, general manager Bob Murray is happy with the progress Eaves has made, but doesn’t expect him to be ready for the season opener. Back in April, Murray said Eaves should be ready to go by mid-October.
Robby Fabbri – After spending the last 20 months on the shelf due to consecutive tears to his ACL, Robby is ready! The 22-year-old forward was drafted 21st overall in 2014, but injuries have prevented him from living up to his potential. Since he has been out of game action for such a long time, it might make sense to let him play a few games before acquiring him in your fantasy leagues.
Wayne Simmonds – The Flyers’ forward had surgery to repair a pelvis tear and a torn abdominal muscle during the offseason. He suffered the pelvis tear before last season’s training camp. That’s right. He played the entirety of the 2017-2018 campaign with a pelvis tear. Love him or hate him, Wayne Simmonds is one tough cookie. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a chance to skate this summer, so he’s going to need some time to get his legs under him again. If everything goes according to plan, he’ll be ready for the team’s season opener.
Zach Werenski – Due to a surgery in May to repair a tear in his shoulder, Werenski has been held out of ongoing scrimmages and preseason games. While he has been skating, the next steps in his rehab will be revealed on Thursday when he meets with team doctors. Follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza to find out whether or not Weresnki will be ready for the season opener!
Ryan Suter – The Wild defenseman spent the offseason recovering from a surgery that repaired his fibula and talus. He has been practicing with the team and the plan is for him to play in Minnesota’s season opener on October 5.
Kevin Shattenkirk – The Rangers’ defenseman has made great strides since a serious knee injury at the end of last season. He has reached a point where his knee is no longer something he has to think about while on the ice. In other words, he should be healthy to start the season.
Mike Green – Prior to his neck surgery five months ago, Green was playing not to get hit. When you’re playing to avoid injury, you’re not playing your best game. He should be ready for the season opener on October 4, and he should be more effective now that he’s healthy.
Shea Weber – The Canadiens’ defenseman had knee surgery this offseason, and still has three to four months left in the timetable for his recovery. Unless he gets traded, Weber is going to be playing a lot more hockey for the Habs, so it would be foolish for the team to rush him back when they aren’t expected to contend this season.
Corey Crawford – The Blackhawks netminder is still dealing with symptoms from a concussion he suffered last year. While coach Joel Quenneville is happy with Crawford’s recent progress, he still wants to get him on the ice as often as possible. While Crawford has been gaining strength and feeling better, he hasn’t practiced with the team since February – seven months ago. Once he starts practicing with the team, you can start expecting a return. Until then, there’s no timetable.
Cory Schneider – The Devils’ goaltender underwent hip surgery in May, a procedure that required a five-month recovery period. Since then, he has been skating consistently, and even began practicing with teammates recently. He has made great progress and could start the season opener on October 6 if everything goes well.
Jake Allen – Had been experiencing back spasms for the first time in his career, but is feeling much better since. If everything goes well, he might even see some preseason action before the regular season.