Alex Petrovic played just 49 games this past season due to an ankle injury, but he arguably had his best season yet, averaging a career-high 18:09 per game. He's a rough-and-tumble, stay-at-home defenseman in an era that puts a premium on blueliners who can skate and move the puck, which limits his use, but teams love having a guy who can clear the crease. Petrovic's 106 hits led the team despite his limited appearances, and his 2.2 hits per game ranked 24th among defensemen who've played at least 40 games. While he'll probably never see much power-play usage, if any, Petrovic has certainly earned a regular spot in the lineup. He's ostensibly entering his prime at 25 years old, but his projected third-pairing role will limit his fantasy value to formats that count hits and PIM.
Petrovic is set to sign a one-year, $1.85 million contract to remain with the Panthers, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. Petrovic would have hit the market as a restricted free agent had the two sides not agreed to a deal, but they beat the buzzer to agree on terms less than 24 hours before free agency opened. The 25-year-old blueliner provided a decent amount of offensive support for the Panthers last season, collecting 14 points (one goal, 13 assists) over 49 games with the NHL club in 2016-17. He should rejoin the mix along the blue line next season, but his fantasy upside remains limited if he can't crack the power-play rotation.
Petrovic set up two goals in a 6-5 overtime win over the Sharks on Wednesday. With four points in six games since returning from a lengthy 33-game absence, Petrovic is one of several Panthers (Nick Bjugstad, Nick Bjugstad, Jonathan Huberdeau) making a significant impact coming off an injury. He doesn't shoot the puck a ton (21 shots in 22 games), but the young rearguard has managed nine points in 22 games this year, which is solid enough value to warrant ownership in deeper leagues -- especially when factoring in his 46 hits.
Petrovic (ankle) is set to return Thursday for a home tilt against the Lightning, George Richards of the Miami Herald reports. The physical puck-moving defenseman has missed the past 33 games, so it'll be interesting to see how much ice time he can handle upon his return. Blossoming into a full-time skater, he hovered around the 18-minute mark through 16 games prior to sustaining the significant ailment, adding five points with 31 hits and 16 blocked shots.
Petrovic (ankle) will need at least another month to recover from injury, George Richards of the Miami Herald reports. Since going down with an ankle injury, Petrovic has already missed 19 games and appears set to miss several more. Prior to getting hurt, the blueliner managed just one goal and four helpers through 16 contests. Considering the 24-year-old is not a part of the Panthers' power play and averages just 17:56 of ice time per night, fantasy owners may want to pursue other defensive options once he is activated off injured reserve.
Petrovic will miss at least eight weeks with an ankle injury, George Richards of the Miami Herald reports. Petrovic had already been placed on injured reserve, but the team have confirmed that he will miss approximately two months. Through 16 games this season, the blueliner has tallied five points with a plus-8 rating. With Petrovic out of the lineup, Mark Pysyk has averaged over four additional minutes per game and figures to shoulder the load for the time being.
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