News: Mikael Backlund's abdominal strain is worse than originally thought, Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald reports. Analysis: Mikael Backlund was originally expected to be ready for the start of the regular season, but head coach Bob Hartley stated Monday that he's worried about Backlund's status. The team hasn't given any sort of timetable for the center's return, so keep an eye out for an update in the next few days.
News: Joffrey Lupul is healthy following arthroscopic knee surgery in April, the Toronto Star reports. Analysis: The season-ending knee procedure was one of several maladies that ailed Joffrey Lupul last season, with a bum foot and a groin strain also contributing to his 13 missed games. The winger has been bitten hard by the injury bug the last several years, making it difficult to justify investing too much into him on draft day. That being said, when he's healthy, he'll likely be plugged into a top-six role for the Leafs, which should allow him to produce respectably on a per-game basis.
News: Travis Zajac is slated to serve as the Devils' No. 1 center this season, with Michael Cammalleri and Jaromir Jagr flanking him on either side, NHL.com reports. Analysis: Both Travis Zajac and Jagr showed excellent continuity in their first season together, but unreliable offense on the left side too often forced the Devils to rely on the defense to win games. While Cammalleri represents an upgrade over the options the Devils trotted out at left wing, his presence is unlikely to vault Zajac much higher than the 50-point level. Zajac is a useful two-way player for the Devils, but lacks the offensive creativity of most No. 1 centers, making him comparably weaker to his peers in most fantasy categories. Still, he'll probably average around 20 minutes of ice time and compile around 15 to 20 goals and 30 assists, giving him some value as a depth forward in certain leagues.
News: After playing a career-low 28 games in 2013-14 due to ankle and back injuries and a sports hernia, Jared Boll is fully healthy in the early stages of training camp, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Post-Dispatch reports. Analysis: Jared Boll has assumed duties as the Blue Jackets' primary enforcer since entering the NHL in 2007-08, but it appears coach Todd Richards is inclined to have Boll cut back on his fighting tendencies after a season marred by injuries. While he'll maintain an aggressive approach on the checking line, the 28-year-old Boll may look to pick his spots when it comes to hitting. A conscious effort to reign in his agitating style would be helpful in lengthening Boll's career, but if his penalty minutes and hit totals continue to plunge further downward, it may be difficult for offer much fantasy value.
News: Teuvo Teravainen was held out of Monday's preseason opener as a precaution due to an upper-body injury he sustained over the weekend, ESPN Chicago reports. Analysis: Teuvo Teravainen was leveled on a check from defenseman Cam Barker in Saturday's practice, resulting in him missing Sunday's scrimmages. Coach Joel Quenneville dismissed the injury as anything serious, and suggested Teravainen would be able to play in Tuesday's exhibition match. The 20-year-old is considered among the best prospects in hockey, but Chicago's considerable depth on the wings probably means he won't remain with the big club for good until 2015-16.
News: Viktor Stalberg sustained a lower-body injury in Monday's practice, Eric Stromgren of The Tennessean reports. Analysis: It looked like the injury was related to Viktor Stalberg's right leg, as he was attempting to keep weight off the limb while he left the ice. The Predators will reevaluate his condition Tuesday, but he'll likely be held out for that night's preseason opener against the Lightning regardless of what the tests indicate. Stalberg was already entering the season with something to prove after he was a major disappointment in Year 1 in Nashville, when he totaled just 18 points in 70 games. The injury could end up hurting his chances of reclaiming a top-six role, and at this point, he's probably best left undrafted in all but the deepest of leagues.
News: Justin Abdelkader has been playing on the Red Wings' projected second line through the first three days of training camp, joining Stephen Weiss and Gustav Nyquist, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports. Analysis: Justin Abdelkader bounced all over the place for the Red Wings last season as the team dealt with a litany of injuries at forward, but with the team in better overall health entering 2014-15, he should see more stability in his role. The 27-year-old is valued by the coaching staff for his versatility as a checker, penalty killer, and depth scorer, but it's the latter attribute that largely puts him off the radar for fantasy purposes. Last season's meager outputs of 10 goals and 28 points represented career-highs, and he's unlikely to notice a spike in either category in 2014-15 if the Red Wings enjoy some semblance of health.
News: Brendan Smith will join Kyle Quincey on the second pairing during Tuesday's preseason opener vs. the Blackhawks, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports. Analysis: The duo primarily partnered with each other last season, though Brendan Smith did occasionally pair up with top blueliner Niklas Kronwall toward the end of the campaign. The 25-year-old took much grief for the frequency with which he turned over the puck in the offseason, but aside from Kronwall, he may offer the most fantasy upside of any Detroit defenseman. If his decision-making can catch up with his speed and on-ice energy, Smith could make a run at 30 points this season. He'll be a leading candidate to earn a spot on one of the Wings' power-play units, which are in desperate need of talented point men.
News: Scott Glennie had a goal and assist in Sunday's team scrimmage and could be in the conversation for an opening night roster spot, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: Scott Glennie hasn't developed as quickly as the Stars had hoped after he was selected eighth overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, but he did show signs of a breakthrough with AHL Texas last season, delivering capable play on both ends of the ice. With Rich Peverley out indefinitely due to his cardiac condition and restricted free agent Cody Eakin still unsigned, a path could exist for Glennie to make the squad if he continues to excel in camp. However, Glennie would likely be limited to bottom-six duty, limiting his fantasy upside.
News: Trevor Daley was held out of Sunday's team scrimmage due to a sore hip, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: Trevor Daley suffered the injury when he collided with the boards during Saturday's practice, but he isn't expected to miss much time as a result. The Stars could choose to keep Daley out of a few exhibitions just as a precaution, but it won't change his standing with the team with his role virtually assured for the start of the season. The 30-year-old is expected to join Alex Goligoski on the Stars' first defensive pairing, where he'll look to build on last season's career-high nine goals.