Kulikov (personal) is expected to return to the lineup for Thursday's game against the Wild, Ken Wiebe of The Athletic reports. Kulikov was granted a leave of absence to be present for the birth of his child, but he'll be back in action against Minnesota. The 28-year-old will likely slot into a top-four role for the Jets, but he has virtually zero offensive upside, so he can be ignored in all but the deepest of fantasy formats.
Kulikov is dealing with a personal matter and won't be in the lineup against Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Ken Wiebe of The Athletic reports. While Kulikov is away, the club recalled Sami Niku from the minors, though it will likely be Anthony Bitetto and Carl Dahlstrom to slot into the lineup. The Jets' blue line is certainly depleted, though Josh Morrissey (upper body) has been given the all-clear to return to action. Once back with the team, Kulikov should continue eating up big minutes, though is unlikely to see time on the power play, giving him low-end fantasy value.
Kulikov notched an assist in Friday's 8-1 win over the Hurricanes. Kulikov now has two assists over his last three games, but that accounts for a third of his six points in 42 games this year. Kulikov is a stay-at-home defenseman, and he doesn't generate enough hits or blocked shots (70 and 51, respectively) to warrant much fantasy interest. He'll stay in the lineup due to the injury bug biting three of his fellow defenders.
Kulikov garnered an assist versus the Blue Jackets on Sunday. Kulikov also racked up 17 minutes in penalties that included a five-minute fighting major. The blueliner was limited to a mere 11:01 of ice time as a result and will likely find himself back in the press box once Dustin Byfuglien (lower body) and Joe Morrow (lower body) are cleared to return.
Kulikov (upper body) will return to the lineup for Saturday's game against the Senators, NHL.com's Scott Billeck reports. Kulikov's return will bolster the Jets' depth at defense, but it won't impact any fantasy lineups, as he's only notched four assists in 33 contests this campaign. The 28-year-old blueliner is expected to skate with Tyler Myers on Winnipeg's bottom pairing against Ottawa.
Last 7 Games
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