Joe Thornton - Forward - SJ
A year after playing four postseason games with a severely injured knee, the Sharks center was unable to make an improbable return in 2018. In January, Thornton tore his right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medical collateral ligament (MCL), which caused him to miss the remainder of the season. Surgery was required, though the problem didn't stop San Jose from resigning the veteran to a one-year deal.
Thornton has required ACL and MCL repairs to both his knees over the last 16 months. His left knee, the joint injured in 2017, is reportedly feeling great and should be fine. His right knee is also improved, though the team may manage his time on the ice early on. Given his age and injury history, Thornton will enter the year a talented but risky fantasy option.
Sean Couturier - Forward - PHI
Couturier appeared to be on track following his rehab for a torn MCL sustained late last season. However, he re-injured the knee in an exhibition game in August and is expected to be a limited participant in the early stages of training camp. Couturier initially injured the knee during the playoffs but avoided surgery. The latest injury is reportedly similar in nature but occurred in a different location. However, it sounds like he avoided any significant cartilage damage and surgery will not be necessary. Look for the 25-year-old to be healthy for the start of the season and have a chance to build on