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Sleepers to remember
Jake Allen ((USATSI))
Is Jake Allen going to play enough for the Blues to matter this season? Jan Levine breaks down the top sleepers you're going to want to track. Full story
Related Links:
• Prospects preview: Central | Metro
• Eye on Hockey blog | Latest injury report
Rankings
 
Most Added Players
Player% ±
1Chris Kreider, NYR, LW9
2John Gibson, ANA, G9
3Sami Vatanen, ANA, D7
4Johnny Gaudreau, CGY, LW7
5Patric Hornqvist, PIT, RW6
6Evgeny Kuznetsov, WAS, C6
7Jonathan Drouin, TB, LW6
8Jake Allen, STL, G6
9Braden Holtby, WAS, G5
10Cory Schneider, NJ, G5
Most Dropped Players
Player% ±
1Daniel Alfredsson, DET, RW-9
2Kimmo Timonen, PHI, D-9
3Jussi Jokinen, FLA, LW-7
4Vincent Lecavalier, PHI, C-7
5Andy Greene, NJ, D-6
6Mason Raymond, CGY, LW-6
7Derek Morris, ARI, D-6
8Andrej Sekera, CAR, D-5
9Cody Franson, TOR, D-5
10Jiri Hudler, CGY, LW-5
Projections
 
 
Player News
Mikael Backlund
Flames' Backlund More Injured Than Thought
Mikael Backlund, C, CGY
9/23/2014
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.

Viktor Stalberg
Preds' Stalberg Dealing With Lower-Body Injury
Viktor Stalberg, LW, NSH
2:59 PM
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.

Justin Abdelkader
Second-Line Role On Tap For Wings' Abdelkader?
Justin Abdelkader, LW, DET
2:49 PM
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.

Brendan Smith
Wings' Smith Set To Pair With Quincey 2014-15
Brendan Smith, D, DET
2:43 PM
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.

Scott Glennie
Glennie Making Strong Early Push For Stars' Roster
Scott Glennie, RW, DAL
2:34 PM
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.

Trevor Daley
Stars' Daley Nursing Sore Hip
Trevor Daley, D, DAL
2:17 PM
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.

Cody Almond
Wild's Almond Competing For Depth Role
Cody Almond, C, MIN
2:11 PM
News: Cody Almond is competing for a gig as the Wild's 12th or 13th forward in training camp, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Analysis: Cody Almond was signed to a one-year, one-way contract by the Wild in July, after a two-year stint in Switzerland in which he accrued 26 goals and 64 points over 83 games. The one-way deal means Almond will have to pass through waivers if he gets cut during training camp, after which he'd have to decide to play with the Wild's AHL affiliate in Iowa or return to Switzerland. The 25-year-old previously appeared with the Wild for 25 games over parts of three seasons from 2009 to 2012, but that won't necessarily give him an edge over the other skaters competing for depth roles. Should Almond somehow end up claiming a roster spot, he'd likely be relegated to checking-line status, with limited ice time coming his way.

Kyle Brodziak
Wild's Brodziak Day-To-Day With Back Concern
Kyle Brodziak, C, MIN
2:05 PM
News: Kyle Brodziak hasn't skated either of the last two days due to a back ailment, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Analysis: The injury will keep Kyle Brodziak out of the Wild's preseason opener Monday against the Jets, but the team isn't classifying the ailment as a major concern. Brodziak is probably again ticketed for fourth-line duty with the Wild this season, after compiling eight goals, 16 assists, and 61 penalty minutes a year earlier.

Jason Spezza
Stars' Spezza To Reunite With Hemsky On Monday
Jason Spezza, C, DAL
2:01 PM
News: Jason Spezza will be used on the second line next to fellow Senators transplant Ales Hemsky when the Stars play their exhibition opener Monday vs. the Blues, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Analysis: Coach Lindy Ruff could still shuffle around his top-six forwards before the start of the regular season, but given the chemistry Jason Spezza showed with Hemsky last season, it's highly probable that the duo will combine to form two-thirds of the second line. Valeri Nichushkin, Colton Sceviour and Antoine Roussel are among the players competing for a spot alongside Spezza and Hemsky or the top-line duo of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. No matter whom ultimately lands on the left side of Spezza, scoring opportunities should be plentiful for the 31-year-old, both at even strength and on the power play.

Brandon McMillan
Coyotes' McMillan Day-To-Day
Brandon McMillan, LW, ARI
11:58 AM
News: Brandon McMillan is not playing Monday due to a lower body injury, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports.
Analysis: The lower body issue is reportedly not serious, so Brandon McMillan should be able to return to action at some point this week, and is expected to be fully healthy for the regular season.

 
 
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