Fantasy hockey rankings update: Kucherov, Pacioretty, Stone injury impact

What should fantasy managers do as we await more information on Nikita Kucherov? Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire

The injuries are starting to pile up.

Chief among them, concerns that Nikita Kucherov may be down for a while after suffering an injury on Saturday. In you remember, he famously missed the last fantasy season after hip surgery, returning in time for the postseason.

We have no details yet from the team, but if surgery is truly on the table, as some reports have hinted, two months is a reasonable recovery time. There are past examples of that timeframe for NHL players to recover in season. Regardless, unless the Lightning announce Kucherov is done for the season (unlikely, we hope), he goes on your IR.

Absolutely add Corey Perry to your rosters, as he slips into the Bolts top six and showed off some renewed energy in the preseason. But until we get some clarity on the injury, Kucherov doesn't slip down the ranks. We should be able to revisit that conclusively next week.

The Lightning aren't alone in missing top-shelf wingers.

The Vegas Golden Knights offense has had its wings clipped, and we don't know for how long. Some reports suggest Max Pacioretty has a fractured foot that could take six weeks to heal, while Mark Stone was limping gingerly when he left Thursday's game.

That's potentially both drivers of this offense on the shelf for an undetermined amount of time.

Fantasy managers know to tuck Pacioretty and Stone on the IR when/if they become eligible. But if this is a prolonged absence for both, it changes the dynamic of the offense. The William Karlsson line would become the de facto No. 1 unit. Meanwhile, the Golden Knights would have to cobble together a secondary line that probably doesn't include Chandler Stephenson. Stephenson's primary access to fantasy stats comes from his chemistry with the Pacioretty-Stone combo, so all bets are off for his continued viability with them out.

Evgenii Dadonov is the natural choice to start building another scoring line, and Nolan Patrick could be elevated with him, as the pair are already used together on a line (and on the first power-play unit). Usually, the Knights would also turn to Alex Tuch in this situation, but he is also out until 2022 after surgery.

Enter Peyton Krebs.

He wasn't on the radar for fantasy this season because the 20-year-old was not needed by a healthy Knights team. The 2019 first-round pick was supposed to get in his first full season in the AHL. But this opportunity could present a chance for Krebs to break in and stay there. Krebs led the WHL in scoring in its abbreviated 2020-21 season, earning MVP honors. He has also managed to show well in his small sample of AHL work, with 10 points in seven games between this season and last.

It would be nice to see a line of Dadonov, Patrick and Krebs get a chance to showcase what they could do. Keep an eye on the injury reports for Pacioretty and Stone to see if they get any clarity, but also watch how the Knights deploy their lines on Wednesday against the Blues and Friday against the Oilers. Both games will require more than a defensive clinic from the Golden Knights if they hope to win.

Forwards on the move

Anze Kopitar, C, Los Angeles Kings (up 37 spots to No. 38): A fresh offensive face in Los Angeles and Kopitar is off to a booming start. Viktor Arvidsson and Kopitar have been on the ice together for six goals already. Kopitar has had hot starts before only to fade a little, but hopefully the expanded Kings attack can help sustain his value.

Jack Hughes, C, New Jersey Devils (up 13 spots to No. 66): What a fantastic first game of the season! Hughes notched two goals on impressive individual efforts. To continue making good on the hype for his breakout campaign, he needs to start lifting other boats with him. For now, those linemates are Yegor Sharangovich and Janne Kuokkanen.

Vladimir Tarasenko, W, St. Louis Blues (down 22 spots to No. 103): It's not awesome to see Tarasenko sitting sixth for the Blues in average ice time. Through two games, he's definitely playing on the team's third line. To be an elite fantasy asset (in the range of 2.0 fantasy points per game), he needs more than 15:12 of ice time per game. The Blues depth is hurting him here.

Defensemen on the move

Kris Letang, D, Pittsburgh Penguins (up 18 spots to No. 84): Three games, four assists and accomplished without Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust in the lineup - more than enough from Letang for good early season vibes. When healthy, he's a fantasy producer and it will only get better with reinforcements in the lineup. For what it's worth, Crosby is getting close to making his season debut.

Moritz Seider, D, Detroit Red Wings (up 21 spots to No. 105): He's passing all tests in the early season and looking like the Calder Trophy candidate we hoped. Seider is leading the Red Wings in power-play minutes and should be scooped up in all leagues to see where he can take this.

Goaltenders on the move

Mike Smith, G, Edmonton Oilers (enters ranks at No. 128): Smith has looked rock solid in the Oilers net. He was not a fantasy favorite in drafts for one main reason: He turns 40 years old this season. If he manages to have a successful campaign, the list of goaltenders 40 or older to have a successful season in the past 50 years will be Dominik Hasek and Smith. Kudos to his athleticism to still be turning aside pucks the way he is, and of course he should be started on any fantasy team, but I'm making a backup plan if he's one of my starters.

Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Florida Panthers (enters ranks at No. 190): Through two games (and two wins), Bobrovsky has dropped a gauntlet for rookie Spencer Knight. Clearly the $10-million Man isn't going quietly into the night here. This potential see-saw battle is why they needed to be handcuffed in drafts. We've yet to see what Knight has to offer this season, but Bobrovsky has already done enough to keep his name in the mix for split starts in the short term.

New to rankings

Mike Smith (see above), Max Domi (quick healer and good start, but out for maybe a month now), Sergei Bobrovsky (see above), Keith Yandle (first unit power-play action), Jeremy Swayman (let's see what Linus Ullmark does now), Mark Giordano (still not overly excited with Vince Dunn currently sidelined), Jordan Kyrou (making good on his long-anticipated pedigree?), Lawson Crouse (someone has to score for the Coyotes).

Just missed

Alexandre Texier, Andrew Copp, Brandon Saad, Rasmus Andersson, Noah Dobson, Mason McTavish, Jamie Drysdale, Phil Kessel, Charlie Coyle, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Jake Bean, Nazem Kadri, Braden Holtby, Lucas Raymond, Jake Allen, Yegor Sharangovich, Matt Duchene, Danton Heinen.

Dropped out

Alex Goligoski (third among Wild defensemen in ice time), Jakub Vrana (out with injury), Calle Jarnkrok (COVID protocol), Kasperi Kapanen (others stepping up), Yanni Gourde (still out injured, but keep him on watch list), Evander Kane (this off-ice situation is far from resolved), Carey Price (best wishes to his decision), Ben Bishop (didn't get healthy in time), Tomas Tatar (third line; really?), Devon Toews (hurt), K'Andre Miller (10 seconds of PP time so far), Scott Mayfield (needs more minutes for his counting stats to do anything), Mattias Ekholm (still relevant, just not 250), Jordan Staal (too many cooks now in this kitchen).

Top 250 rankings

1. Connor McDavid, F, EDM (F1)
2. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, TB (G1)
3. Leon Draisaitl, F, EDM (F2)
4. Auston Matthews, F, TOR (F3)
5. Nathan MacKinnon, F, COL (F4)
6. Robin Lehner, G, VGS (G2)
7. Juuse Saros, G, NSH (G3)
8. Nikita Kucherov, F, TB (F5)
9. Mikko Rantanen, F, COL (F6)
10. Roman Josi, D, NSH (D1)
11. David Pastrnak, F, BOS (F7)
12. Connor Hellebuyck, G, WPG (G4)
13. Darcy Kuemper, G, COL (G5)
14. Mika Zibanejad, F, NYR (F8)
15. Aleksander Barkov, F, FLA (F9)
16. Mark Scheifele, F, WPG (F10)
17. John Carlson, D, WSH (D2)
18. Darnell Nurse, D, EDM (D3)
19. Philipp Grubauer, G, SEA (G6)
20. Mitchell Marner, F, TOR (F11)
21. Dougie Hamilton, D, NJ (D4)
22. Igor Shesterkin, G, NYR (G7)
23. Ilya Sorokin, G, NYI (G8)
24. Tyler Seguin, F, DAL (F12)
25. Brad Marchand, F, BOS (F13)
26. Kirill Kaprizov, F, MIN (F14)
27. Sebastian Aho, F, CAR (F15)
28. Alex Ovechkin, F, WSH (F16)
29. Adam Fox, D, NYR (D5)
30. Jonathan Huberdeau, F, FLA (F17)
31. Artemi Panarin, F, NYR (F18)
32. Patrik Laine, F, CLS (F19)
33. Victor Hedman, D, TB (D6)
34. Sidney Crosby, F, PIT (F20)
35. Elias Pettersson, F, VAN (F21)
36. Aaron Ekblad, D, FLA (D7)
37. Cale Makar, D, COL (D8)
38. Anze Kopitar, F, LA (F22)
39. Brady Tkachuk, F, OTT (F23)
40. Steven Stamkos, F, TB (F24)
41. Kyle Connor, F, WPG (F25)
42. Brayden Point, F, TB (F26)
43. Alex DeBrincat, F, CHI (F27)
44. Taylor Hall, F, BOS (F28)
45. Roope Hintz, F, DAL (F29)
46. Patrick Kane, F, CHI (F30)
47. Seth Jones, D, CHI (D9)
48. Ivan Provorov, D, PHI (D10)
49. Charlie McAvoy, D, BOS (D11)
50. Sean Couturier, F, PHI (F31)
51. Andrei Svechnikov, F, CAR (F32)
52. Ryan Ellis, D, PHI (D12)
53. Jaden Schwartz, F, SEA (F33)
54. Jakob Chychrun, D, ARI (D13)
55. Nikolaj Ehlers, F, WPG (F34)
56. Vince Dunn, D, SEA (D14)
57. Mark Stone, F, VGS (F35)
58. Drew Doughty, D, LA (D15)
59. Jack Campbell, G, TOR (G9)
60. Alex Pietrangelo, D, VGS (D16)
61. Jake Guentzel, F, PIT (F36)
62. Jordan Binnington, G, STL (G10)
63. Zach Werenski, D, CLS (D17)
64. Max Pacioretty, F, VGS (F37)
65. Jacob Markstrom, G, CGY (G11)
66. Jack Hughes, F, NJ (F38)
67. Bo Horvat, F, VAN (F39)
68. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, CHI (G12)
69. John Tavares, F, TOR (F40)
70. Ryan O'Reilly, F, STL (F41)
71. Ondrej Palat, F, TB (F42)
72. Bryan Rust, F, PIT (F43)
73. Alex Nedeljkovic, G, DET (G13)
74. Neal Pionk, D, WPG (D18)
75. MacKenzie Weegar, D, FLA (D19)
76. J.T. Miller, F, VAN (F44)
77. Jacob Trouba, D, NYR (D20)
78. Frederik Andersen, G, CAR (G14)
79. Tyson Barrie, D, EDM (D21)
80. David Perron, F, STL (F45)
81. John Gibson, G, ANA (G15)
82. Patrice Bergeron, F, BOS (F46)
83. Logan Couture, F, SJ (F47)
84. Kris Letang, D, PIT (D22)
85. Nico Hischier, F, NJ (F48)
86. Ilya Samsonov, G, WSH (G16)
87. Mathew Barzal, F, NYI (F49)
88. Matthew Tkachuk, F, CGY (F50)
89. Nick Suzuki, F, MON (F51)
90. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, F, NYI (F52)
91. Alec Martinez, D, VGS (D23)
92. Anders Lee, F, NYI (F53)
93. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, F, EDM (F54)
94. Zach Hyman, F, EDM (F55)
95. Tyler Bertuzzi, F, DET (F56)
96. Miro Heiskanen, D, DAL (D24)
97. Jordan Eberle, F, SEA (F57)
98. Brayden Schenn, F, STL (F58)
99. Sam Reinhart, F, FLA (F59)
100. Ryan Strome, F, NYR (F60)
101. Elias Lindholm, F, CGY (F61)
102. Kevin Fiala, F, MIN (F62)
103. Vladimir Tarasenko, F, STL (F63)
104. Drake Batherson, F, OTT (F64)
105. Moritz Seider, D, DET (D25)
106. Jared Spurgeon, D, MIN (D26)
107. Jonathan Marchessault, F, VGS (F65)
108. Jeff Petry, D, MON (D27)
109. Quinn Hughes, D, VAN (D28)
110. Filip Forsberg, F, NSH (F66)
111. Thomas Chabot, D, OTT (D29)
112. Tristan Jarry, G, PIT (G17)
113. Jesse Puljujarvi, F, EDM (F67)
114. Chris Kreider, F, NYR (F68)
115. Dylan Larkin, F, DET (F69)
116. Adin Hill, G, SJ (G18)
117. Erik Karlsson, D, SJ (D30)
118. Shea Theodore, D, VGS (D31)
119. Gabriel Landeskog, F, COL (F70)
120. Joel Farabee, F, PHI (F71)
121. Viktor Arvidsson, F, LA (F72)
122. Alexis Lafreniere, F, NYR (F73)
123. Martin Necas, F, CAR (F74)
124. Carter Hart, G, PHI (G19)
125. Adam Larsson, D, SEA (D32)
126. Conor Garland, F, VAN (F75)
127. Nicklas Backstrom, F, WSH (F76)
128. Mike Smith, G, EDM (G20)
129. Jonathan Toews, F, CHI (F77)
130. Tyler Toffoli, F, MON (F78)
131. William Nylander, F, TOR (F79)
132. Josh Norris, F, OTT (F80)
133. Alexander Radulov, F, DAL (F81)
134. Brock Boeser, F, VAN (F82)
135. Alex Wennberg, F, SEA (F83)
136. Ryan Pulock, D, NYI (D33)
137. Colton Parayko, D, STL (D34)
138. Jamie Benn, F, DAL (F84)
139. Connor Murphy, D, CHI (D35)
140. Jonas Brodin, D, MIN (D36)
141. Carter Verhaeghe, F, FLA (F85)
142. Nick Ritchie, F, TOR (F86)
143. Oliver Bjorkstrand, F, CLS (F87)
144. Sam Bennett, F, FLA (F88)
145. Ryan Graves, D, NJ (D37)
146. Blake Wheeler, F, WPG (F89)
147. Timo Meier, F, SJ (F90)
148. Jake Muzzin, D, TOR (D38)
149. Max Comtois, F, ANA (F91)
150. Jordan Kyrou, F, STL (F92)
151. Dylan Cozens, F, BUF (F93)
152. Tomas Hertl, F, SJ (F94)
153. Vincent Trocheck, F, CAR (F95)
154. Brock Nelson, F, NYI (F96)
155. Teuvo Teravainen, F, CAR (F97)
156. Johnny Gaudreau, F, CGY (F98)
157. Jakub Voracek, F, CLS (F99)
158. Spencer Knight, G, FLA (G21)
159. Joel Eriksson Ek, F, MIN (F100)
160. Pavel Buchnevich, F, STL (F101)
161. Morgan Rielly, D, TOR (D39)
162. Kailer Yamamoto, F, EDM (F102)
163. Joe Pavelski, F, DAL (F103)
164. Thatcher Demko, G, VAN (G22)
165. Rasmus Dahlin, D, BUF (D40)
166. Jason Robertson, F, DAL (F104)
167. Connor Brown, F, OTT (F105)
168. Shayne Gostisbehere, D, ARI (D41)
169. Tony DeAngelo, D, CAR (D42)
170. Adam Henrique, F, ANA (F106)
171. Alex Iafallo, F, LA (F107)
172. Petr Mrazek, G, TOR (G23)
173. Tim Stutzle, F, OTT (F108)
174. John Klingberg, D, DAL (D43)
175. Matt Dumba, D, MIN (D44)
176. Dominik Kubalik, F, CHI (F109)
177. Mike Hoffman, F, MON (F110)
178. Travis Konecny, F, PHI (F111)
179. Lawson Crouse, F, ARI (F112)
180. Boone Jenner, F, CLS (F113)
181. Torey Krug, D, STL (D45)
182. T.J. Oshie, F, WSH (F114)
183. Paul Stastny, F, WPG (F115)
184. Chris Driedger, G, SEA (G24)
185. Calvin Petersen, G, LA (G25)
186. Tom Wilson, F, WSH (F116)
187. Brent Burns, D, SJ (D46)
188. Casey Mittelstadt, F, BUF (F117)
189. Cole Caufield, F, MON (F118)
190. William Karlsson, F, VGS (F119)
191. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, FLA (G26)
192. James van Riemsdyk, F, PHI (F120)
193. David Savard, D, MON (D47)
194. Andre Burakovsky, F, COL (F121)
195. Mikhail Sergachev, D, TB (D48)
196. Eeli Tolvanen, F, NSH (F122)
197. Noah Hanifin, D, CGY (D49)
198. Kirby Dach, F, CHI (F123)
199. Mackenzie Blackwood, G, NJ (G27)
200. Blake Coleman, F, CGY (F124)
201. Esa Lindell, D, DAL (D50)
202. Nikita Zaitsev, D, OTT (D51)
203. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, VAN (D52)
204. Clayton Keller, F, ARI (F125)
205. Kaapo Kahkonen, G, MIN (G28)
206. Tyler Myers, D, VAN (D53)
207. Jack Roslovic, F, CLS (F126)
208. Semyon Varlamov, G, NYI (G29)
209. Pavel Francouz, G, COL (G30)
210. Anthony Beauvillier, F, NYI (F127)
211. Artem Zub, D, OTT (D54)
212. Josh Morrissey, D, WPG (D55)
213. Hampus Lindholm, D, ANA (D56)
214. Ryan Johansen, F, NSH (F128)
215. Trevor Zegras, F, ANA (F129)
216. Gustav Nyquist, F, CLS (F130)
217. Adam Boqvist, D, CLS (D57)
218. Keith Yandle, D, PHI (D58)
219. Rasmus Ristolainen, D, PHI (D59)
220. Rickard Rakell, F, ANA (F131)
221. Christopher Tanev, D, CGY (D60)
222. Kyle Palmieri, F, NYI (F132)
223. Jeremy Swayman, G, BOS (G31)
224. Calvin de Haan, D, CHI (D61)
225. Pierre-Luc Dubois, F, WPG (F133)
226. Brandon Tanev, F, SEA (F134)
227. Brian Dumoulin, D, PIT (D62)
228. Elvis Merzlikins, G, CLS (G32)
229. Alex Killorn, F, TB (F135)
230. Mark Giordano, D, SEA (D63)
231. Mats Zuccarello, F, MIN (F136)
232. Justin Faulk, D, STL (D64)
233. Victor Olofsson, F, BUF (F137)
234. Mario Ferraro, D, SJ (D65)
235. Max Domi, F, CLS (F138)
236. Brendan Gallagher, F, MON (F139)
237. Anthony Mantha, F, WSH (F140)
238. Tyler Motte, F, VAN (F141)
239. Christian Dvorak, F, MON (F142)
240. Cam Atkinson, F, PHI (F143)
241. Owen Tippett, F, FLA (F144)
242. Cam Talbot, G, MIN (G33)
243. Jeff Carter, F, PIT (F145)
244. Alexander Edler, D, LA (D66)
245. Cody Ceci, D, EDM (D67)
246. Matt Grzelcyk, D, BOS (D68)
247. Claude Giroux, F, PHI (F146)
248. Jason Zucker, F, PIT (F147)
249. Filip Hronek, D, DET (D69)
250. Evgenii Dadonov, F, VGS (F148)