The Dallas Stars have announced that forwards Joel Kiviranta and Radek Faksa will miss time due to injury. Both players skated in the team’s recent loss to the Nashville Predators, but their minutes were much lower than average due to early exits. Stars broadcaster Bruce LeVine provided an update on the two Tuesday morning.
Faksa is a game time decision.
Kiviranta will be out “for a little while”
— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) March 23, 2021
Stars Lose Joel Kiviranta and Radek Faksa to Injury
These two skaters have provided occasional bursts, but neither are major factors for the 2020-21 season. Faksa is ninth on the team in total scoring with four goals and 10 points in 28 games. Kiviranta is thirteenth with three and seven in 19. Faksa struggled to drive offence with a 48.1 Corsi For and -6.2 relative Corsi, while Kiviranta was a positive factor at 53.4 percent and .5. Both saw action on the second power-play units as well, but Faksa has more opportunities on special teams overall. It’s clear that both were key pieces of Dallas’ system outside of the primary scoring threats.
The Stars originally drafted Faksa in the first round of the 2012 Draft and have watched the Czech skater turn into a quality two-way forward. He has 64 goals and 138 points in 379 career games. He also has 489 and 283 blocks. It is that willingness to forecheck and do some of the team’s dirty work that earned Faksa down-ballot Selke support in 2017-18 and 2018-19. Kiviranta signed with Dallas in 2019 as an undrafted free agent from Finland. The 23-year-old is still considered a rookie, but has some interesting potential as a sniper. He’s got five goals and six points, three of which came in a huge game against the Colorado Avalanche.
How Dallas Compensates
This thins the team’s depth considerably. Both Kiviranta and Faksa were playing significant minutes in a variety of situations and there aren’t spectacular replacements waiting to debut. There are a variety of moves they could do like promote Joel L’Esperance or Tanner Kero from the taxi squad, but Dallas has already fallen behind in their division. It might be time for Dallas to start moving expiring deals as the reload for a run in 2021-22.
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