Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall will miss 2-4 weeks with an MCL sprain, the team announced Sunday, leaving fantasy hockey owners with the tough task of finding a stopgap for the dual position-eligible Hall, who finished in the top 10 in scoring the past two seasons.
With the reality being there isn't anyone on the waiver wire that can produce like Hall, owners will have to settle for grabbing one of the following wings, centers or dual position-eligible players to help string things along until Hall is back in action.
FANTASY HOCKEY ANALYSIS
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Jussi Jokinen, Florida Panthers (owned in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues) -- The Panthers are not very deep with viable fantasy options, but Jokinen has been heating up recently with his first five assists of the season occurring over a current four-game point streak. The Finnish forward is eligible in Yahoo leagues at the same positions as Hall (center and left wing) and is coming off a 2013-14 season with the Pittsburgh Penguins in which he had a career high 57 points (21 goals, 36 assists). Jokinen is capable of totaling 40-plus assists over the course of a full season, but owners should be focusing on picking up this hot player now before he inevitably cools off.
Mikhail Grabovski, New York Islanders (owned in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues) -- With one goal and three points over the past four games, owners should be confident in Grabovski as a short-term replacement for Hall. A borderline top-six forward, Grabovski has been bouncing between the second and third lines for the Islanders and seeing time on the power play this season. While there is nothing about Grabovski's numbers that would make him a necessary addition over the course of a full season, his Yahoo eligibility at all three forward positions gives owners the flexibility to juggle him around as needed while Hall is on injured reserve.
Carl Soderberg, Boston Bruins (owned in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues) -- Soderberg is the Bruins leader with 10 points this season (three goals, seven assists) and is currently available in most Yahoo leagues. When searching for short-term options, the key is to find players in the midst of a hot streak. Soderberg has one goal and five points in the past five games and is getting some power-play minutes as well. With the same position eligibility as Hall in Yahoo leagues, Soderberg is a fine choice to help sustain owners.
Antoine Roussel, Dallas Stars (owned in 22 percent of Yahoo leagues) -- The silver lining for Hall owners is there's now an open roster spot to take your team in a different direction. Whether in head-to-head or rotisserie format, claiming Roussel will help you improve in the penalty minutes category and provide some offensive production. Owners should not expect to be replacing Hall's offensive output by adding Roussel, but the left wing did have 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists) along with 209 penalty minutes last season and is proving this season that he can be relied upon to cover multiple categories with four goals, two assists and 27 penalty minutes in 11 games.