27-Year-Old Right Wing – New York Islanders
Michael Grabner Contract Information:
Signed a five-year, $15 million contract with the Islanders in May of 2011.
Grabner (sports hernia) is now looking unlikely to play before Thanksgiving, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports.
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Michael Grabner: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Grabner rebounded last year from a disappointing 2011-12 season with 16 goals in 45 games although he managed to accumulate only five assists. The reason for the low dish total could be because he was relegated to third-line duty for most of the season. Coach Jack Capuano stated on more than one occasion that he intended to move Grabner up and get him more playing time but with the Isles top two lines clicking, that never materialized. Where Finley is slotted during training camp should be one of the more interesting questions for fantasy owners.
Grabner had a disappointing sophomore season on the Island, as he clocked in at 20 goals after potting 34 the year before as a rookie. Leg injuries factored in Grabner's production drop last year, as they hindered his speed -- a huge part of his game. While he posted 54 fewer shots than in 2010-11, he also suddenly showed inability to light the lamp on breakaways. The year before, Grabner seemed to get one of those every other game, but last year, he didn't have the skills or luck to repeat his success. In other words, the chances were there, but the production wasn't. Grabner's value remains higher in keeper leagues, and a return to his 30-goal form could make him a bargain at the end of this year's drafts.
Grabner was one of the most pleasant surprises of the 2010-11 season. After being released by the Panthers in training camp, Islanders GM Garth Snow made another shrewd waiver claim and grabbed Grabner. All Grabner did was pot 34 goals and add 18 assists on the way to becoming a finalist for the Calder Trophy. Possessing unmatched quickness, Grabner's as good as gone when he has a step on a defender. The one problem is that he only scored two power-play goals last year, though he did have six shorthanded. The Islanders are acquiring more and more offensive talent, but Grabner will still be a key component to any success the team may have this coming season.
We suggest not hitting the snooze alarm when it comes to Grabner, one of this season's deep fantasy sleepers. At the moment, Grabner's more popular in Vancouver since he appeared in 20 games as a rookie with the Canucks last season, but the Panthers should give this score-happy forward every opportunity to command the team's young and talented offensive corps in 2010-11, all while putting his fantasy stock in the green.
Grabner, 22, finished the 2008-09 season with 40 goals and 25 assists in 88 games, including playoffs, for the Manitoba of the AHL. All marks were career bests for Grabner, who finally appears to be taking full advantage of his superb speed. He's expected to get a long look with the Canucks during training camp and could even sneak into the top-six come opening night.
The 14th overall selection in the 2006 NHL Draft had an impressive campaign with Manitoba last year, notching 22 goals and 22 assists. The speedy winger has 30 goal potential and could find a roster spot with the Canucks as soon as this season. Grabner could be worth a look in deep leagues if he sticks with the Canucks out of training camp.
Grabner should see limited time on the parent club in the 2007-08 season, but not enough to warrant a spot on redraft teams. Keeper league owners will get a look at the prospect, but shouldn't expect much more unless serious injuries or ineffectiveness strike the Canucks' forwards.
An offensive right winger, Grabner may have the skill set ideal to shine in the NHL. It's unlikely that he plays for any significant time this upcoming season, but should make his NHL debut in 2007-08. Keeper league owners should look to stash this kid until then.
No doubt about it, Grabner has high-end skills. That is, when he chooses to use them. He's a bit of a poacher and he got a bad rap for taking a few shifts off, but that might be a product of playing on a bad team with little support. He's lightning-fast and boy, can he score goals. He'll need some time to develop a better conscience in his own zone and if he can do it, he'll carve himself a spot as a very, very good scorer in the NHL.