Head2Head Sports

MenuSkip to content

Head2Head Fantasy Hockey

Hockey

Latest Player News

Jeremy Bracco scored eight points (three goals, five assists) in four games at the 2017 Memorial Cup. He had a goal and two assists in Windsor's Cup win on Sunday.

Impact

Bracco is a stud in the offensive zone and has a bright future with the Leafs once he can get a bit more consistent in his own zone.

Mike Fisher (undisclosed) has been cleared to play Monday night's Stanley Cup Finals opener against the Penguins, the Tennessean reports.

Impact

When speaking to the media about his injury Sunday, the captain heavily implied in his rhetoric that he was ready to go and would not miss Monday's contest. Coach Peter Laviolette backed the sentiment up by saying that all players on the trip would be available. Fisher and teammate Craig Smith (undisclosed) are both in Pittsburgh, so it would be a serious surprise at this point if either or both of them are ruled out due to injury prior to the franchise's first ever Stanley Cup Finals game.

Craig Smith (undisclosed) should return in Game 1 against Pittsburgh, Arpon Basu of NHL.com reports.

Impact

According to head coach Peter Laviolette said all players will be available for the Stanley Cup Finals, which includes Smith and injured teammate Mike Fischer. Smith only notched 29 points in 78 regular season games, so don't look toward him for much fantasy production.

Jake Guentzel rotated on the fourth line during Sunday's practice, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Impact

After potting an NHL-leading nine goals through the first 11 games of the playoffs, the rookie's gone ice cold. Guentzel hasn't scored in eight games, chipping in with only three assists. Whether he's hitting a wall or nursing an undisclosed injury, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Pens bench Guentzel on Monday, especially with Patric Hornqvist nearing a return.

Kieffer Bellows will be leaving Boston University for WHL Portland, Brian Compton of NHL.com reports.

Impact

Bellows, who was the 19th overall pick in last summer's draft, had a rough freshman season for the Terriers. He was a healthy scratch on multiple occasions early in the season and his final numbers (seven goals, 14 points in 34 games) were disappointing. Bellows should fare much better next season in the WHL. His decision to leave the collegiate ranks opens the door for him to sign an entry-level deal with the Islanders.

Patric Hornqvist (upper body) will be a game-time decision against Nashville on Monday, Wes Crosby of NHL.com reports.

Impact

The winger has been out since Game 2 against Ottawa, and while the Penguins were able to win the series despite the absence, they could really use his assistance for some additional depth up front. Hornqvist has produced in his 13 postseason games this year, providing seven points (four goals, three assists) and tallying 30 shots on goal.

T.J. Oshie is close to a deal that will have him return to Washington, J.J. Regan of CSN Mid Atlantic reports.

Impact

According to the report, John Shannon of Sportsnet was the first to report that a deal between the Caps and Oshie was "all but done." Oshie is coming off a career year, surpassing the 30-goal threshold for the first time in his career. His 33 goals were tied for the team high with Alex Ovechkin.

Nolan Patrick is scheduled to take part in all the physical tests at next week's NHL draft combine, Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News reports.

Impact

Normally this wouldn't qualify as major news, but Patrick was limited to just 33 games for WHL Brandon this past season. Patrick has been labeled by some as injury-prone, but there's no reason to believe that any of the ailments he suffered the past year will be long-term issues. Barring an unforeseen miracle, Patrick will be the first or second selection in next month's draft.

Tobias Rieder underwent ankle surgery for an injury that he sustained during the IIHF World Championship and has a recovery timeline of 8-to-12 weeks, Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports reports.

Impact

Rieder only managed to play in three of eight games for Germany in the international tournament, adding a single goal over that span. Even if it takes him the full three months to get back to 100 percent, the forward should be healthy before the start of the regular season. His 2016-17 campaign included 16 goals, 18 assists and a minus-8 rating, which actually represents the best single-season rating of his NHL career that is three years old.

Canucks GM Jim Benning is confident that he can re-sign Ryan Miller, who is a pending unrestricted free agent, the Vancouver Sun reports.

Impact

While Benning understands that young players will naturally be involved in the franchise's rebuilding process, he's also made it clear that he wishes to retain veteran defenders like Alex Edler and Chris Tanev – in addition to Miller, the 2010 Vezina Trophy winner and a guy who currently sits 19th in the history of the NHL with 358 goalie wins between the Sabres, Blues and Canucks. However, Miller might have to agree to a pay cut after turning in a weak record of 18-29-6 and similarly disappointing peripheral stats (2.80 GAA, .914 save percentage) this past season. The Michigan native is cashing out the balance of an $18 million deal signed with the Canucks ahead of the 2014-15 campaign.

Patric Hornqvist (upper body) appears to be nearing a return, ESPN reports.

Impact

A less obvious benefit of the Penguins advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals is that they will end up having three full days to rest before Monday's Game 1 clash with the Predators. Since Hornqvist went as far as taking warmups ahead of Thursday's ultimate series-clinching contest against the Senators, we'd be surprised if the net-front scoring specialist doesn't suit up for the start of the Cup finals.

Michal Kempny signed a one-year contract extension with the Blackhawks on Saturday.

Impact

Kempny will provide the Blackhawks with some much needed youth on the back end in 2017-18, but the 26-year-old defender has yet to establish himself as a viable option in season-long fantasy formats. The Slovakian defender notched eight points and 67 shots on goal in 50 games in 2016-17. Barring injury, Kempny will likely log at least 75 games as a mainstay in Chicago's lineup next season, but it remains to be seen if he'll be able to translate that increased playing time into fantasy relevancy.

Tomas Nosek stands the best chance among Red Wings prospects of making the team next season, opines Ansar Khan of MLive.com.

Impact

Not only is Nosek is on the verge of becoming an NHL regular by virtue of his solid play – he capped off the 2016-17 campaign with AHL Grand Rapids after turning in 41 points (15 goals, 26 assists) in 51 games – but the undrafted pivot is no longer exempt from waivers, and that's a key consideration for GM Ken Holland as he sorts through similarly talented prospects in Tyler Bertuzzi and Evgeny Svechnikov. Still, even if Nosek secures a job at hockey's highest level, it may take awhile for him to flourish; he's scored one goal for his lone point in 17 career games with Detroit.

Alexander Edler will not be actively shopped by the Cancuks as the team looks to rebuild, theScore reports.

Impact

GM Jim Benning reportedly wants to retain the likes of Edler and Chris Tanev to avoid putting too much pressure on younger players that should emerge in the coming years. Edler has been in the league for a decade, with the Swede tacking on at least 20 points in each season – save for his abbreviated rookie campaign. However, the Canucks have been rather suspect defensively, and it's culminated in a minus-28 rating for Edler over the past two years. The Red Wings – for one – could really use the ice hog as a top-pairing power-play defenseman, but Benning apparently has other ideas. Expect a relatively low fantasy ceiling so long as Edler remains in Vancouver.

Justin Schultz played through broken ribs during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, John Shannon of Sportsnet reports.

Impact

You wouldn't know that Schultz was dealing with any kind of issue simply by looking at the box score, as the skilled rearguard managed a power-play goal, an assist, three hits and a plus-2 rating over 24:16 of ice time on the way to a series clincher over the Senators. Expect Schultz to continue playing through the malady, knowing that he'll have until Monday to rest before the Penguins play host to the Predators for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Chris Tanev will not be traded by the Canucks despite rumors of the contrary, theScore reports.

Impact

Canucks GM Jim Benning originally told The Province that he'll listen to offers for Tanev, but apparently it would take a lot to get him. "Unless it would make sense for our future, I'm not trading Chris," Benning said. "He means so much to our team." Tanev is held in high regard by the big boss – he's a smart player and adept at moving the puck – but he generally lacks offensive upside and that figures to keep his ownership low in most fantasy leagues. Since entering the league in 2010-11, he's failed to post more than 20 points in a single campaign.

Dmitry Orlov is said to be discussing a possible contract with CSKA Moscow of the KHL, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports, citing Igor Eronko of Russia's Sport-Express.

Impact

It was a breakout campaign for Orlov in 2016-17, as he manufactured a career-high 33 points to complement a shiny rating at plus-30. While the rearguard saw his playing time jump by three and a half minutes compared to the prior campaign, the Capitals acquired defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk shortly ahead of the trade deadline and that created volatility with Orlov's minutes when coach Barry Trotz tinkered with his pairings. If you hold keeper shares in the 25-year-old, wait for more substantiated reports before worrying about the rumored departure to the KHL, though it's worth noting that his hockey career began in that league back in 2007-08, when he was with Novokuznetsk Metallurg.

The Jets could ask Toby Enstrom (knee) to waive his no-move clause, the Winnipeg Sun reports.

Impact

Unless the defenseman ditches the no-move designation, Winnipeg will be on the hook for the $5.75 million that remains in the final year of his contract next season. While there's no question that Enstrom is a talented player, his fantasy appeal has dropped precipitously. He notched 30-plus points in his first five seasons, but has lost a step over the years and this campaign was particularly rough on the veteran since he sustained a brutal concussion in March and then underwent season-ending knee surgery with 15 games left. We're still waiting to learn more about how his recovery from knee surgery is going, though you're bound to find him on the clearance rack as damaged goods until then.

Philip Holm signed a one-year, entry-level contract with the Canucks on Friday.

Impact

Holm was never drafted by an NHL team and has spent much of his developmental years in his native Sweden. Last season with Vaxjo HC of the Swedish Hockey League, the 25-year-old posted career highs in assists (17), points (21), and plus-minus (plus-24), with the latter figure good for first in the SHL. He caught the attention of NHL scouts after being an instrumental piece in Sweden's winning run during the IIHF World Championship, so it will be fascinating to see how his game translates to the North American style of play.

Sidney Crosby set up an even-strength goal against the Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals double-overtime win Thursday, increasing his playoff point total to 20; he's accumulated seven goals and 13 assists.

Impact

The all-world pivot was held pointless in three games of the grueling series versus Ottawa, but he'll look to expose a Nashville team that's been dampened at the center spot due to the loss of Ryan Johansen, who underwent emergency surgery on his thigh following a Game 4 loss to the Ducks. We know you'll be starting Crosby every chance you get, and the real debate at this point is whether he'll generally justify a higher fantasy draft selection than Edmonton's Connor McDavid, who'll be wrapping his mitts around the Art Ross Trophy at the awards ceremony in June.