Fantasy Hockey: Dmitrij Jaskin Is Getting the Chance He Deserves

Thanks to an injury, the Czech winger is getting first-line minutes. Can he take advantage of the opportunity?

While they’re equally frustrating to players and fans, injuries are a reality of life in sports. And for a demonstration of that frustration, you don’t need to look any further than St. Louis.

For the first few months of the season, the St. Louis Blues have had one of the most productive lines in hockey: Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz, and Vladimir Tarasenko. With all three player in the top 12 in points in the league, it looked like nothing could stop the trio.

That was until Schwartz took a Mike Green shot to the ankle on Saturday, knocking him out of action for six weeks.

But injury always gives someone else an opportunity. In this case, it falls to Dmitrij Jaskin; whether you’re a Blues fan or a daily fantasy player, he’s someone you’ll want to keep an eye on.

While we’ll have to see what Blues coach Mike Yeo does over the longer term, looking at the game in which Schwartz got injured and the one the next day indicates that Jaskin will an increased opportunity. On December 9th, the winger got 12:46 of ice time, according to ShiftChart. During that time, he mostly skated with Kyle Brodziak and Scottie Upshall.

The next night against Buffalo, Yeo shuffled his lines. Jaskin was skating with Alex Steen and Schenn, while Tarasenko took shifts with Paul Stastny and Vladimir Sobotka. That night, Jaskin was on the ice for 17:50. He was still skating in that role in Tuesday night’s marquee matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning, albeit it with less ice time, but that looks to be more due to penalty kills than anything else.

Clearly, Jaskin will at least get a shot at more ice time with better linemates. But, beyond that, the young Czech has plenty of potential in his own right. Not only has he already matched last season’s point total (11) in just 29 games, but he is sixth on the team in five-on-five points per 60 and primary points per 60 this season. Looking even further, however, his underlying numbers are also strong.

According to Corsica, Jaskin is third on the team in five-on-five Corsi For percentage; his individual five-on-five Expected Goals per 60 is also third on the team, behind only Tarasenko and Schwartz. Those number, coupled with his strong five-on-five individual Corsi For per 60 -- second on the team to Tarasenko at 14.16 -- paint the picture of a young player who’s doing the right things with the puck and should succeed in an increased role. He's holding onto the puck, shooting it, and creating chances at strong rates; now he'll have an extra seven minutes a night to do it

Whether you’re a Blues fan or a DFS player looking for a bargain at forward, Jaskin will be someone to keep an eye on over the next few weeks. He has the skills and now he has the ice time and quality linemates; all that’s left is for him to put it all together.