Fantasy owners are faced with a substantial void to fill in their lineups after the Carolina Hurricanes announced Monday that forward Jeff Skinner sustained his third concussion since the 2011-12 season. Skinner, who holds dual eligibility in Yahoo Fantasy Hockey leagues as a left wing and right wing, left the final preseason game in the first period Sunday after the injury.
Left Wing - CAR
GOALS: 33 | ASST: 21 | PTS: 54
SOG: 274 | +/-: -14
The former Calder Trophy winner was selected, on average, in the fifth round of Yahoo Fantasy Hockey drafts this season because of an impressive performance in 2013-14 when he led the Hurricanes in goals (33) and points (54). Skinner's growing relevance in fantasy earned him a spot on NHL.com fantasy insider Matt Cubeta's preseason list of breakout candidates
It will be hard to replace a player of Skinner's ability after he put up top-10 numbers in goals, shots on goal (274) and power-play goals (11) last season, but there should be a few capable players available on the waiver wire to help bridge the gap.
Depending on how large your league is, you may have to dig a bit deeper for players, but putting in a claim for New Jersey Devils center/right wing-eligible Mike Cammalleri (owned in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues) can help you recover some of the diverse offensive numbers lost from Skinner. The former Calgary Flames standout is expected to play with Travis Zajac and the seemingly ageless Jaromir Jagr this season, which should boost his output in goals, assists, plus-minus, power-play points and shots on goal.
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Other dependable options that may be available are Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan (owned in 31 percent of leagues) and Calgary's Jiri Hudler (owned in 23 percent of Yahoo leagues). Like Skinner, Doan and Hudler can be used as either right or left wing and can provide decent coverage of all the categories you need to make up for in Skinner's absence. Doan will also give you an added bonus with solid numbers in leagues that include hits as a category.
If you're in a league with 12 teams or more, then you might have to settle for a wing with top-six potential on his respective team, in which case the Anaheim Ducks' dual wing-eligible Jakob Silfverberg (19 percent ownership) could provide serviceable even-strength numbers while you await the return of Skinner.