Vladimir Tarasenko's injury a major blow for fantasy owners

If you drafted Vladimir Tarasenko at his third-round price tag in your Yahoo Fantasy draft, you probably feel like you’ve just received a five-iron to your midsection.

The star forward is going to be re-evaluated in five months after he undergoes surgery on his left shoulder, meaning fantasy hockey owners are going to have to make do without one of their top players. If you own him in your league, feel free to send him to the waiver wire if you don’t have an open injured reserve (IR) spot to stash him.

If you’re looking to find the next man up in the Blues’ offense, it’s Robert Thomas. The 20-year-old is still developing, but he has showcased flashes of skill that would indicate he can hang around on the top line with Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn. That duo has performed very well to start the season and the hope when adding Thomas — who is owned in 2% of Yahoo fantasy leagues — is that he’s able to piggyback off their success.

Another possibility is Sammy Blais getting a crack when he finally returns fully from injury if Thomas falters. Blais started the year quickly, notching five points in his first five contests, but began to taper off after that. If he returns from his ailment and Thomas is not performing, the spot on the team’s first unit could be his.

Finally, the team could decide to vault David Perron onto Line 1. While I don’t think the team will want to split up Perron and Ryan O’Reilly from the second unit, if the Blues get desperate for production from that unit, it could be an option. So far this season, Perron has six goals and 12 points in as many contests.

Tarasenko will miss at least five months of action. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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