28-Year-Old Defenseman – Free Agent
David Schlemko Contract Information:
Became an unrestricted free agent in July 2015.
Schlemko said Tuesday that he battled a groin injury during the playoffs, Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960 The Fan reports.
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David Schlemko: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Schlemko is one of the Coyotes' grittier players and it's that toughness that cost him some time last season due to injury. He played in 30 games from the blue line, tallying six points (one goal) and adding 57 blocked shots. Schlemko is unlikely to ever be a household fantasy name from the blue line like his teammate Keith Yandle -- he's more valuable on the ice than in the fantasy arena.
Schlemko was on his way to one of his best seasons (11 points, 88 blocked shots, 52 hits in 46 games) in the league when a broken foot derailed his 2011-12 campaign. Though he eventually returned, he couldn't quite ratchet up his play to the level prior to the injury and will be fighting for a roster spot during training camp, especially with the influx of young talent and offseason acquistions along the blue line.
Schlemko provided blue line depth for the 'Yotes last season, stepping in when Phoenix's defense caught the injury bug. He'll likely be given an opportunity to win a spot on the roster during training camp, especially with the departure of Ed Jovanoski. Even if Schlemko does stick with the big club, he's not much of an offensive-minded blueliner (four goals and 10 assists through 43 games), giving him limited fantasy upside.
Schlemko played 17 games with the Coyotes in 2009-10 and the rest of the time he saw action with the Rampage where he appeared in 55 games. During his time in the AHL, he scored 31 points (5G 26A) and went a minus-4. For 2010-11, he will have to elevate his game, especially with the prospects of Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Maxim Goncharov looming in the distance. If he does make the NHL squad, he should not be much more than a stay-at-home defenseman and any goal he scores will be a bonus.
Schlemko benefited from Phoenix's lack of depth on the blue line last season, getting his call up to the Coyotes and playing his first three games in the NHL. This year should see the 22-year old Schlemko return to the AHL, as Phoenix has added to the blue line over the offseason. He could be one of the first defenders in Las Vegas to get the call should a defender go down for the 'Yotes.