The Ottawa Senators announced defenseman Thomas Chabot will miss at least three weeks with an upper-body injury. Forward Jack Rodewald was recalled from Belleville (AHL) for tonight’s game against the Capitals. The Sens will return to dressing six defensemen in the absence of Chabot.
The injury is a huge blow to the Senators and Chabot, who was one of the biggest surprises of the first half of the NHL season. The 21-year-old blueliner already surpassed his previous career high in goals (9) and assists (16). With 38 points in 38 games, Chabot ranks second among NHL defensemen in points, trailing only the Maple Leafs’ Morgan Rielly. He assumed a much larger role this season following the departure of perennial all-star Erik Karlsson. His ATOI is up over seven minutes from last season (23:52 compared to 17:31).
Maxime Lajoie should benefit the most from Chabot’s absence. A fifth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Lajoie has been heavily-featured on the Sens’ second power-play unit this season. He is expected to quarterback Ottawa’s first unit until Chabot can return and could see some time on the top defensive-pair as well. Don’t expect him to mimic Chabot’s production, but the opportunity alone is enough to warrant a waiver-wire pickup in standard fantasy leagues.