Niklas Hjalmarsson
Niklas Hjalmarsson
32-Year-Old DefensemanD
Arizona Coyotes
Injury Lower Leg
Est. Return 1/12/2020
2019 Fantasy Outlook
In his own way, Hjalmarsson enjoyed a career year, posting a personal-best 187 blocked shots despite registering only 10 assists. After injuries claimed chunks of the previous two years, it was also encouraging to see the Swede play in all 82 games. There's no question to what Hjalmarsson is at this point in his career -- a stay-at-home defenseman who carries far more value on the ice than in the fantasy arena. He's 32 years old, as well, so don't expect a sudden breakout year for the blueliner. Instead, 10-15 points and a top-10 finish in blocked shots should be the expectation. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $10 million contract extension with the Coyotes in June of 2018.
Out for three months
DArizona Coyotes
Lower Body
October 14, 2019
Hjalmarsson has a cracked fibula and will miss around three months, Craig Morgan of The Athletic reports.
Hjalmarsson left Saturday's loss to the Avalanche early after blocking Erik Johnson's slap shot, and after additional testing, the injury is severe. This is a major loss for the Coyotes' blue line, as Hjalmarsson is a top lockdown defenseman. He'll aim for a January return, although the timeline is just an approximation. Expect the Coyotes to call up another blueliner from AHL Tucson for now and place Hjalmarsson on injured reserve, although they may have to trade for a long-term solution.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Hjalmarsson's first season in Arizona did not go as planned. While he's healthy now, the fearless blueliner missed 34 games due to an upper-body injury and ultimately a lower-body concern that affected his core. Hjalmarsson's primary source of fantasy utility comes in the form of blocked shots, with the former Blackhawk amassing 450 of those over the past three years. Most of the offense from the Coyotes blue line is routed through the likes of Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Alex Goligoski rather than Hjalmarsson, who takes the majority of his shifts in the defensive zone to the delight of the Coyotes goalies.
Hjalmarsson is a fantastic stay-at-home defender, but his lack of offensive production keeps him from being a viable option in most fantasy formats. The 30-year-old rearguard has yet to top 30 points in a single season since he entered the NHL in 2007-08, and he only managed 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in 73 games with the Blackhawks last season. Hjalmarsson was traded to the Coyotes in exchange for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin in June, and although he’s expected to skate alongside Oliver Ekman-Larsson on the Coyotes’ top pairing this season, the change of scenery is unlikely to make Hjalmarsson fantasy relevant at this stage of his career. The 6-foot-3 blueliner did register an impressive 181 blocked shots last campaign, good for sixth in the NHL, but his unwavering commitment to sacrificing his body lessens his appeal.
Hjalmarsson isn't known for his offensive contributions, and rightfully so. The 29-year-old defender has yet to top 30 points in a single campaign since he entered the league in 2007-08. He is, however, widely considered to be one of the NHL's most underrated defenders. Hjalmarsson does excellent work in the defensive zone, and has an unwavering commitment to blocking shots. The left-handed defenseman is also talented enough to log a ton of tough minutes against his opponents' best players, and is a key member of the 'Hawks top penalty-killing unit. The 6-foot-3 Swede won't be worth a roster spot in all formats, but can be expected to deliver around 20 points for owners rounding out their defensive depth in deeper leagues.
Hjalmarsson might be considered the third defenseman on the Hawks, but that's not too shabby considering the two ahead of him are Duncan Keith (Norris Trophy winner) and Brent Seabrook. Some might even have him ahead of Seabrook. The 27-year-old blueliner had a career high in assists (22) and points (26) in 2013-14, and ranked in the top 20 in blocked shots with 157. There's value in that combination and even more if he continues to track up to the 30-point mark.
Hjalmarsson's numbers last season -- points, hits and blocked shots -- were consistent with his last few years. He's an absolutely punishing defender and plays in every important defensive situation. And while he has untapped offensive ability, he is most valuable in his own zone. He's an asset in specialty formats, but is unlikely to help you in standard leagues.
Hjalmarsson was one of the top names that were supposed to be shipped out by the Blackhawks, but he was still on the roster when the summer ended. He is a shot-blocking specialist and was second on the team in that category with 142, behind only the great Brent Seabrook. He'll be a steady 15-18 point producer; don't draft for any more.
Hjalmarsson was a controversial figure during the 2010-11 offseason for the Blackhawks as the team needed to match the San Jose Sharks offer for him. The result is that the team was placed at the limit of the salary cap. Hjalmarsson saw a dip in scoring with just three goals and seven assists. However, he increased his blocked shots to 166 from 137 the year before. More is sure to be expected from him for 2011-12.
Hjalmarsson is an outstanding defender who is emerging as a top-notch, shot-blocking, shutdown specialist. But the 23-year-old boasts some impressive offensive skills that are unfortunately underutilized on an extremely deep Hawks blue line. He's a Dan Hamhuis clone, just a few years younger. Expect 20-25 points this season with slow growth dependent on his role. Just beware he may become so valuable killing penalties and shutting down the opposition's best forwards that he may never fully develop his offensive game.
The 22-year-old defenseman could be a major plus come the 2009-10 season. He was injured in the first Hawks game last season and then relegated to Rockford. Hjalmarsson was brought up near the end of the season and would play 21 games for the entire season while registering a goal and two assists along with a plus-4 rating. He also played several minutes on the ice in a couple of games in the Detroit series in the playoffs.
Hjalmarsson played in 13 games with the Hawks last season. He'll compete with Jordan Hendry, Cam Barker, and Matt Walker for the third defensive pairing. He shouldn't have lots of value in a standard league but could accrue decent assist numbers for teams in deep leagues.
More Fantasy News
Saturday ends early
DArizona Coyotes
Lower Body
October 12, 2019
Hjalmarsson (lower body) was injured blocking a shot in the first period and will not return to Saturday's game versus the Avalanche, Alexander Kinkopf of the Coyotes' official website reports.
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Buries insurance tally
DArizona Coyotes
October 10, 2019
Hjalmarsson scored a goal on two shots and went plus-2 in Thursday's 4-1 win over the Golden Knights.
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Hitting ice Saturday
DArizona Coyotes
September 21, 2019
Hjalmarsson (illness) is in the lineup for Saturday night's preseason game against the Ducks.
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Under the weather
DArizona Coyotes
September 18, 2019
Hjalmarsson is currently dealing with an illness, Craig Morgan of The Athletic reports.
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Shot-blocking guru
DArizona Coyotes
April 9, 2019
Hjalmarsson posted 10 points and blocked 187 shots over 82 games the 2018-19 season.
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