NHL leading-scorer Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks is out for the rest of the regular season after fracturing his left clavicle Tuesday against the Florida Panthers. This news is tough for Blackhawks fans, but fantasy owners are in a bind because the fantasy playoffs are just around the corner.
It is impossible to find a forward on your waiver wire with the production of Kane, but the following players could help ease the burden in shallow or deep fantasy leagues:
FANTASY HOCKEY ANALYSIS
We've reached the stretch run of the 2014-15 NHL season, so NHL.com has you covered with weekly fantasy hockey positional rankings, real-time spin updates and waiver wire advice as you pursue your league championship.
Craig Smith, C/RW, Nashville Predators (owned in 34 percent of Yahoo leagues) It is always wise to search for players from the best team in the NHL, and Smith is a possibility to be picked up in some shallow leagues. With 19 goals, 34 points, five power-play goals, a team-leading 190 shots on goal, and eligibility at the same positions as Kane in Yahoo leagues, Smith could provide the best value among players who are possibly available in your league.
Mark Scheifele, C, Winnipeg Jets (12 percent owned) Owners can receive a bonus with the soon-to-be 22-year old Scheifele; they can find a decent short-term replacement for Kane but also get a viable option in a keeper league. The former first-round pick (2011; No. 7) has a goal and two assists in the past two games and has been solid all season with 34 points (nine goals, 25 assists), a plus-3 rating, 11 power-play points (two goals, nine assists), and 123 SOG in 62 games played.
Chris Stewart, RW, Buffalo Sabres (9 percent owned) With the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday, March 2 at 3 p.m. ET, owners are advised to consider picking up players on teams that could possibly be sellers. Considering the Blackhawks will likely need to trade for a forward, buying low on Stewart can end up yielding a huge return. Stewart's minus-31 rating may make him seem like a player to steer clear of, but he's playing for a team with the worst goal differential in the League at minus-90. And Stewart's 10 goals, 23 points, 63 penalty minutes and 10 power-play points (five goals, five assists) in 59 games this season could see a boost if he ends up on a contending team down the stretch, where his plus-minus should improve.
Teuvo Teravainen, C/LW, Chicago Blackhawks (2 percent owned) The Blackhawks recalled the 20-year old first-round pick (2012; No. 18 overall) from the American Hockey League Rockford Ice Hogs on Wednesday, making it a safe bet for fantasy owners to depend on Teravainen as the in-house replacement for Kane. The young Finnish forward had 25 points (six goals, 19 assists) and 98 SOG through 39 games with Rockford but it remains to be seen what type of numbers he can achieve in the NHL.