Ramblings: Zibanejad to Miss Start of Camp, WJC Quarterfinals, Players Drafted Too Low on Yahoo (Jan 3)

Ian Gooding

2021-01-03

Mika Zibanejad is not expected to be on the ice when Rangers training camp opens, according to GM Jeff Gorton. Zibanejad is coming off a career season where he scored 75 points in just 57 games, but he has experienced injury issues in the past, including last season. This is obviously concerning for his fantasy owners, so you may want to wait on him a bit in your draft until more information and a possible return date is known. With the added issue of “COVID” injuries, details might be scarce. For what it's worth, the Rangers are hoping Z will be ready for the start of the season.

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It's only the second day of camp, and the Sabres are already dealing with injuries to two top-6 forwards. Victor Olofsson left Saturday's practice with a possible arm or wrist injury after crashing into a goalpost. Jack Eichel is already day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Riley Sheahan, who is on a PTO, was moved up to Olofsson's spot on Taylor Hall's line.

Also at Sabres camp: Former Hurricanes Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner have been reunited on a line. Although Staal is now 36 and has seen his best days, I wonder if his presence could help Skinner rebound from what was a disastrous 2019-20. It certainly should have factored into why the Sabres traded for Staal, considering that they have invested seven more seasons at $9 million per season in Skinner. Don't be afraid to take a late-round flier on Skinner for that reason.

Not-so-fun fact about Skinner: It seems like he has been around forever (a decade, actually), but he has never played in an NHL playoff game.

Transitioning from the Sabres to the World Juniors, doesn't the future suddenly look bright in Buffalo with Dylan Cozens on the horizon? It looks like a two-horse race between Cozens and Trevor Zegras for player of the tournament, at least at the moment.

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Now that Germany has been eliminated from the World Juniors, Tim Stuetzle will in fact be joining the Senators for training camp. According to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, he will need to quarantine for seven days and pass four COVID tests before he can hit the ice, which should happen before the end of camp. Stuetzle looked like a star in the making at the WJC, scoring ten points (5g-5a) in five games, so you can bet he will receive serious consideration to make the Senators roster.

Finland/Sweden – what a game! The