27-Year-Old Left Wing – New Jersey Devils
Luke Gazdic Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Devils in July of 2016 worth $700,000 in the majors.
Gazdic (foot) will be on injured reserve for the start of the 2016-17 season, The Record reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Gazdic has one job when he's in the lineup for Edmonton, and that's to keep the other team in check when it comes to their physical play. He's a throwback to old-time hockey and is one of the best fighters in the game today. In leagues that reward penalty minutes, Gazdic can squeeze out some value for fantasy owners, but expect his contributions in other categories to be minimal.
Gazdic missed the end of last season due to shoulder surger,y but is expected to be ready in the early part of the upcoming season. He quickly became one of the more feared fighters in the game once the Oilers called him up. But let's face it -- that's all he brings to the table. He is a fighting major waiting to happen. When healthy, Gazdic will only play in games where the Oilers feel they need a physical presence, so his fantasy value is sorely limited.
Gazdic was back at the AHL last year for the third straight season and has just 23 goals in nearly 200 games at the level. He wasn't a big scorer coming up through junior hockey, either, and it looks like the AHL will be the ceiling for the former sixth-round pick (2007).
Gazdic continues to show plenty of grit and toughness (155 PIMS in 49 games in the AHL last year) but his offensive game has taken a backseat. There was some hope upon being drafted that he could develop into a 10-goal grinder, but those hopes appear all but forgotten with diminishing returns after his junior career.
Known more from his toughness and physical play than his scoring touch, Gazdic will begin his professional career this season. He could emerge as an eventual fourth liner in the Krys Barch mold, but doesn't project beyond that.