On Tuesday night Calgary Flames’ winger Johnny Gaudreau suffered a fractured finger that will require surgery on Wednesday.
The Flames confirmed that Gaudreau is out indefinitely, but did not provide a timetable for his return. According to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, Gaudreau will likely be sidelined for 4-6 weeks.
This is a detrimental blow to the Flames, who have had a slow start, but it is also a massive blow to fantasy hockey lineups. However, there are players out there that you can pick up to help replace Gaudreau for the next month or six weeks. Whether you are in a 4-team league or a 16-team league, there are players available for you.
Nikolaj Ehlers – Winnipeg Jets – LW/RW (63% Owned)
Ehlers was playing on a line with Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine, before being moved to the second line for the last two games. Ehlers will find himself back on that line soon enough, but in the meantime playing with Nic Petan and Blake Wheeler isn’t so bad. Ehlers has two goals and 10 assists (12 points) in his last seven games and he has enough upside to be owned in 100% of leagues.
Chris Kunitz – Pittsburgh Penguins – LW (54% Owned)
Kunitz best days are behind him, but he makes for a serviceable add as long as he is playing on a line with Evgeni Malkin. Kunitz has picked up two goals and four assists (six points) in his last eight games and he is coming off of a game in which he collected seven shots on goal. There are players with more upside than Kunitz, but he is a safe option with guaranteed top-6 minutes and ample power-play time.
Michael Grabner – New York Rangers – LW/RW (52% Owned)
Who would have thought that Grabner would have 10 goals in 17 games. Not me. Grabner has amazing speed and is worth an add in the short-term. This hot streak won’t continue, he is shooting 24.4 percent, but he is playing top-6 minutes right now and he has registered 17 shots in his last four games. Even if he only last a week in your lineup, that’s one week closer to getting Gaudreau back. Ride the wave.
Rickard Rakell – Anaheim Ducks – C/LW (27% Owned)
Rakell didn’t open the season with the Ducks because of an injury and contract holdout, but since returning he has picked up eight points (4G / 4A) in eight games. Despite a great start to the 2016-17 season, the two-way centre/winger is still only 27 percent owned. He is averaging nearly 3.0 shots per game and will continue to play close to 17 minutes per night with the chance to move into the top-6.
Patrick Maroon – Edmonton Oilers – LW (26% Owned)
Maroon is playing with Connor McDavid, which is great for any player. Milan Lucic didn’t cut it, so another big body is just what the line needed. Maroon has been impressive, picking up four goals and three assists (seven points) in his last seven games and deserves to be rostered as long as he is on a line with McDavid.
Sam Bennett – Calgary Flames – C (16% Owned)
Bennett has picked up just seven points (3G / 4A) in 17 games this season, but with Gaudreau out, he will move to the top line with Sean Monahan and Troy Brouwer. If he remains on the wing, it should be long until he gets LW eligibility. The big minutes he’ll play on the top line and power-play could lead to increased production.
Jamie McGinn – Arizona Coyotes – LW (2% Owned)
McGinn had a career-high 22 goals last year before signing with the Coyotes this summer. McGinn missed the start of the season with an upper-body injury, but has now picked up six points (3G / 3A) in nine games since. If you’re in a deep league McGinn is worth a look. McGinn has played 17-plus minutes in the last two games and should to continue to see that kind of usage, as well as see ample power-play time.
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