Fantasy Hockey: Pacioretty, Marchand, & More Injured Players to Watch

Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The 2022-2023 NHL season is less than a month away, which means that it’s time to start thinking about fantasy hockey.

Whether you’ve played before or you’re brand new to the fantasy world, there are key considerations to be mindful of when drafting, trading, and exploring the waiver wire. One of the most prominent considerations is the health of your players.

This season, there are some big names that will begin the year injured, so should you avoid them altogether? Or, could you find a way to stash them away on your injured reserve and hope to get a boost when they return later in the season?

Don’t discount these injured stars when it comes to fantasy hockey.

One of the biggest names to watch in this regard is Max Pacioretty. Health has not been his forte, but when he’s healthy, he’s hard to beat. He was limited to only 39 games last season with the Vegas Golden Knights, but he tallied 37 points in those games.

He recorded 117 points in 119 games in the two seasons prior, making him an explosive fantasy hockey option when healthy.

Of course, Pacioretty will be a member of the Carolina Hurricanes this season, but since fantasy owners won’t have to worry about a drop-off in team skill, he will be a viable forward that you can probably grab later than normal in your draft.

In Boston, the questions continue, as Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy headline the players that will be sidelined to start the year. However, these injuries should not scare fantasy hockey managers away.

Both players figure to be back before the calendar flips to 2023, which means that they’ll play the majority of the season. Given Marchand’s knack for scoring goals and McAvoy’s career-high 56 points last season, fantasy managers can take them early in drafts and wait for them to return.

Conversely, the pair of players currently injured for the Washington Capitals should not be drafted at their normal positions. Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson are both coming off of surgeries and their timetables to return are unclear.

While both players have obvious fantasy upside, the significance and uncertainty of their injuries should make them players to add via the waiver wire if and when they return.

I also don’t see the Caps as a lethal team in terms of fantasy hockey production (unless you end up with Alex Ovechkin), so that’s another reason to stay away from Backstrom and Wilson in your draft.

Finally, Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is injured with no anticipated time for his return. I would treat him like Pacioretty: wait and draft him in a later round, because when he comes back, he’ll be in a great position to be a productive fantasy hockey player.

More. One player who could have a big season with the Chicago Blackhawks. light

Do your homework on injured players when it comes to fantasy hockey, but don’t sleep on them completely. Getting a star player back later in the season could be the boost your team needs.