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Tyler Seguin
AP
The Week Ahead

The Winter Classic

by Michael Finewax
Updated On: December 28, 2019, 11:53 am ET

The Winter Classic takes place for the first time in Dallas on January 1 with Nashville as their opponent.

The NHL has not gone this far south on January 1 for their showcase game of the season, but it should be interesting as it will be played in the famed Cotton Bowl.

There is a focus in this week's column on players in the World Junior Tournament in the Czech Republic.

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with Friday’s matchup between the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche. Coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here!

Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Lineup Adviser, get our Weekly and Rest-of-Season rankings and projections, track all of your players and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more!  

Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out Rotoworld's Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_ HK and @mfinewaxhockey on Twitter.

WEEK OF DECEMBER 30-JANUARY 5

4 Games - Florida, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Tampa Bay

3 Games – Anaheim, Arizona, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Detroit, Edmonton, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Toronto, Vegas, Washington, Winnipeg

2 Games - Dallas, Los Angeles, Vancouver

Florida, San Jose and Tampa Bay play all four games on the road.

Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, Minnesota and Ottawa play three games at home.

Nashville, the New York Rangers, Philadelphia and Vegas play three games on the road.

INJURIES

Torey Krug was placed on the injured reserve list Friday with an upper-body injury suffered against Washington Monday. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

@ Vegas, @ Arizona, vs. Nashville

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Nashville (Sunday)

Notes

Hampus Lindholm has been on a bit of a hot streak of late with five points in five games including his first goal of the season.  The Ducks first round pick and ninth overall in the 2019 Draft, Trevor Zegras, will suit up for the United States in the 2020 World Junior Hockey Tournament. The center has five goals and 17 points in 16 games at Boston University. Daniel Sprong was recalled from the minors and is seeing second line duty with the Ducks spate of injuries, including Jakob Silfverberg and Ryan Getzlaf who were both out with illnesses. The duo should be ready to go this week, if not sooner. Rickard Rakell is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

ARIZONA

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, vs. Anaheim, vs. Philadelphia

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Coyotes are well represented at the World Junior Tournament as Barrett Hayton, the fifth overall pick in 2018, and Victor Soderstrom, the 11th choice in the 2019 Draft will play for Canada and Sweden respectively. Jason Demers has returned to action after missing six games with a lower-body injury. Nick Schmaltz continues to play well despite only six goals as the center has set up 24 goals. Conor Garland leads the team in goals with 12, one up on Carl Soderberg. A defenseman who is under the radar in Arizona is Jakob Chychrun, who has 10 goals to lead the team. Perennial offensive blueline leader Oliver Ekman-Larsson, seems to have lost his offensive flair and has only four goals and 16 points in 39 games. He is no longer a great fantasy asset.

 

BOSTON

Games this week

@ New Jersey, vs. Columbus, vs. Edmonton

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Bruins took Jakub Lauko in the third round of the 2018 Draft and the 19-year-old was playing in the AHL when the Bruins loaned him to the Czech Republic for the World Juniors that started this week in his home country. Lauko, who had four goals and eight points in 18 AHL contests before heading across the pond, suffered an MCL injury Thursday and is likely gone for the remainder of the tourney. David Pastrnak still leads the NHL in goal scoring with 28 but has not had a goal in his last four games. He has contributed with five helpers in that span and has 54 points, tied for the team lead with Brad Marchand and tied for fourth overall in the NHL. Zdeno Chara missed Monday’s contest but is expected back on the 27th after undergoing a procedure on his jaw.

BUFFALO

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Edmonton, vs. Florida

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Sabres will be represented by first round pick Dylan Cozens at the World Juniors as well as Mattias Samuelsson of the United States, Erik Portillo of Sweden and Matej Pekar of the Czech Republic. Jeff Skinner has not scored in his last 10 games and has only 11 goals in 38 games this season. He had 40 goals last year including eight on the power play but he has yet to score this season with the man-advantage. Jack Eichel saw his 18-game scoring streak come to an end on Monday. His streak, according to the NHL, ended the previous week when he missed a game but he had scored in 18 straight games in which he participated in. Carter Hutton started the season 6-0-0, but has fallen on hard times since October 23 and he is 0-6-4 since, giving up 42 goals in the 10 games on 316 shots. Linus Ullmark is now the number one goaltender.

CALGARY

Games this week

vs. Chicago, vs. New York Rangers, @ Minnesota

Tired: None

Rested: @ Minnesota (Sunday)

Notes

Dustin Wolf was one of the last picks in the 2019 Draft but the netminder is having a great season in the WHL with Everett, as he is 17-6-1 with a 1.91 GAA and a .941 save percentage. Look for him to get some starts in goal, especially after Spencer Knight gave up five goals on 31 shots to Canada Thursday. Mikael Backlund finally found pay dirt again Sunday after being held goalless in his previous 18 games. Interim head coach Geoff Ward has been switching his lines around and Elias Lindholm is clicking with Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane, while Mikael Backlund is seeing action on the second unit with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau.

CAROLINA

Games this week

vs. Montreal, vs. Washington, vs. Tampa Bay

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Tampa Bay (Sunday)

Notes

Carolina has prospect Jack Drury playing for the United States at the World Juniors. The sophomore from Harvard University, was selected in the second round of the 2018 Draft and had four goals and 10 points in 10 games for the Crimson. After going eight games without a point, Martin Necas has two goals and five points in his last two contests to give him eight goals and 21 points in 33 games. Erik Haula returned to action Saturday after missing five weeks with a knee injury and while was pointless against the Panthers, he had a pair of goals and an assist against Toronto Monday. The former Golden Knight has 10 goals and 14 points in 18 games to date.

CHICAGO

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Vancouver, vs. Detroit

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Blackhawks were dealt a blow this week on the blueline, losing Calvin de Haan to shoulder surgery and Brent Seabrook to shoulder surgery as well, with Seabrook undergoing surgery on both hips, slated for January and February. The duo will be out for the remainder of the season and there is no guarantee that Seabrook will be back for the start of next season. The only good news is that they will have salary cap relief and that could help come the trade deadline. Brandon Saad is also out but only for three weeks as the winger suffered a right ankle injury last week. Rookie defenseman Adam Boqvist suffered a shoulder injury Monday but could return this week. Andrew Shaw is still not close to returning from a concussion suffered on November 30.

COLORADO

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, vs. St. Louis, @ New Jersey

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Avalanche are sending Bowen Byram, the fourth overall pick in the 2019 Draft to the World Juniors for Canada, along with Finns Justus Annunen and Sampo Ranta. Joonas Donskoi has 28 points in 37 games but only one assist in his last seven contests. He took advantage of injuries to Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen and saw first line action as well as first power play time but now that everyone is healthy, Donskoi is on the second unit with Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky. Valeri Nichushkin is showing signs why he was selected 10th overall by Dallas in 2013. He played last season for Dallas after two seasons in the KHL and had only 10 assists in 57 games. This year he had only one point in his first 16 games but has 12 points in his last 17 contests. He is worth looking at in deeper leagues.  

COLUMBUS

Games this week

vs. Florida, @ Boston, vs. San Jose

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

Kirill Marchenko and Dmitri Voronkov of Russia, Liam Foudy of Canada and Tim Berni of Switzerland are the Blue Jackets prospects playing in the World Junior tourney. The Blue Jackets recalled four players Thursday night after the holiday break as Gabriel Carlsson, Ryan MacInnis, Jakob Lilja and Adam Clendening were all called up from the minors. Joonas Korpisalo has been great for Columbus of late (which is fortunate as the Blue Jackets are the only team in the NHL without a win from their backup goaltender) as he is 6-0-2 in his last eight games to give him a 17-10-3 mark with a 2.54 GAA and a .911 save percentage. It is a lot better than former Columbus star Sergei Bobrovsky who played out his contract and signed in the off-season with Florida.

DALLAS

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Detroit

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Stars host the Winter Classic this week as the NHL turns its attention to the city of Dallas. Ty Dellandrea is playing for Canada at the World Juniors and he scored the clinching goal in a 6-4 win over the United States Thursday. Mattias Janmark was injured Sunday as he left the ice favoring his leg. Consider him day-to-day for now. Ben Bishop has struggled of late with a 0-3-1 record and allowing 15 goals on 109 shots. Nevertheless, his stats are still great as he is 12-9-3 with a 2.36 GAA and a .924 save percentage. The Stars put Roope Hintz on the top line with Joe Pavelski at center and Tyler Seguin on the wing. Alexander Radulov has missed the last two games with a lower-body injury but hopes to return quickly as he had seven points in his previous six games.

Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 16th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.