Top Blue Jackets News
Blue Jackets' Spencer Martin: Claimed by Columbus
Martin was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jackets on Friday, Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports.
The Blue Jackets needed help between the pipes as they have Elvis Merzlikins as their starter, but had only Daniil Tarasov (knee) and Aaron Dell, who is on a professional tryout, as backup options. While Martin struggled last season, going 11-15-1 with a 3.99 GAA and .871 save percentage for the Canucks, he could help the Blue Jackets in a backup role, at least until Tarasov is healthy again.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Patrik Laine: Seeing time at center in practice
Laine skated at center between Johnny Gaudreau and Kirill Marchenko during Wednesday's practice and hasn't been ruled out as an option up the middle during the season, Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports.
"He's shown a lot of interest in playing center," new head coach Pascal Vincent said. "Like I told him, he has to do the right things. His conditioning has to be way up there. Skating and practicing, pushing himself has to be there. So far, I'd like to say that he's been doing all of this, so we're going to see how it goes, and if we like it we will continue the project... If it works, great, we all benefit. He's a 6-foot-5 right shot. If it works, it changes the picture of our group up front. But if it doesn't work, that was a good try and we'll move forward." The Blue Jackets have more depth at center than at any time in recent memory with the additions of 2023 third overall pick Adam Fantilli and Dmitri Voronkov from the KHL, but if Laine can handle the assignment, he could end up anchoring the team's top line and taking some pressure off Fantilli in his rookie campaign. Having Laine at center would also allow Boone Jenner to move back to a wing, where he's a better fit at this stage of his career. Laine is still looking to put together a full healthy season in Columbus, but over the last two years he's racked up 48 goals and 108 points in 111 games.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Mathieu Olivier: Practicing Friday
Olivier (lower leg) is practicing Friday, Jeff Svoboda of the Blue Jackets' official site reports.
This is the first practice Olivier has participated in during training camp as he suffered the injury in the offseason. Olivier is projected to play on the fourth line in 2023-24. He had five goals, 15 points and 178 hits in 66 games last season.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Ivan Provorov: Returns to practice Friday
Provorov (soreness) returned to practice Friday after missing a couple of days, Brian Hedger of The Columbus Dispatch reports.
It's a new beginning for Provorov, as he was dealt from the Flyers on June 6. Provorov had six goals, 21 assists, 162 blocked shots and a minus-24 rating last season while playing in all 82 games. Look for a big improvement this season, as he will be on a better Columbus team.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Kirill Marchenko: Back at practice
Marchenko (back) returned to practice Tuesday and feels good go, per Brian Hedger of The Columbus Dispatch.
Marchenko had been unavailable for the start of training camp because of a strained back. He accounted for 21 goals, four assists and 131 shots on net over 59 games during his rookie campaign in 2022-23. Going into this season, Marchenko will be in the mix for a spot in the top six as well as a position on the first power-play unit.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Adam Fantilli: Two helpers in preseason debut
Fantilli collected two assists, one shorthanded, in a 4-3 overtime win over the Penguins in preseason action Sunday.
Beginning the split-squad game on a line with Patrik Laine and Alexandre Texier, Fantilli made an immediate impact in the Blue Jackets' lineup. His first helper came early in the first period after Texier slid home the rebound on a Fantilli shot, while his second highlighted both his skill and his compete level. The third overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft pounced on a loose puck in the second frame with the Jackets down a man, drew a defender to him in the Penguins' zone and then dropped a backhand pass to a wide-open Carson Meyer in the slot for Columbus' third goal of the night. The fact that new head coach Pascal Vincent is already giving Fantilli a look on the penalty kill is very encouraging for his potential usage as a rookie, and the 18-year-old seems headed for a top-six role with a strong training camp.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Yegor Chinakhov: Day-to-day with back strain
Chinakhov missed his third straight day of training camp Saturday because of a back strain, per Jeff Svoboda of the Blue Jackets' official site.
Chinakhov is regarded as being day-to-day. He had four goals and 13 points in 30 outings with Columbus last season. Chinakhov also scored three goals and eight points in seven outings with AHL Cleveland.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Elvis Merzlikins: Skates with second group
Merzlikins (lower body) skated with the second of three groups during Thursday's practice to open training camp, Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports.
Merzlikins had a lower-body injury for much of the last month of 2022-23, but it was expected he'd be healthy by the end of April. His presence on the ice at training camp is enough to suggest he's healthy and ready to enter the season as the Blue Jackets' clear top netminder, especially with Daniil Tarasov (knee) hurting. Merzlikins is a low-end fantasy option to begin the year -- managers may want to see how much of an impact the Blue Jackets' defensive additions will benefit their goalies.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Erik Gudbranson: Skating on first day of camp
Gudbranson (shoulder) was on the ice for Thursday's practice at Blue Jackets camp, Mark Scheig of The Hockey Writers reports.
Gudbranson worked alongside newcomer Ivan Provorov, which could be a glimpse at a new pairing this season, though it is early in camp. The 31-year-old Gudbranson's 2022-23 campaign ended with a separated shoulder in March after he produced 13 points, 119 hits, 137 blocked shots and a minus-24 rating in 70 contests. He'll likely be a regular in the Blue Jackets' lineup as a bottom-four defenseman this season.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Nick Blankenburg: Ready for training camp
Blankenburg (ankle) was on the ice for Thursday's practice at Blue Jackets camp, Mark Scheig of The Hockey Writers reports.
Blankenburg was considered week-to-week with an ankle injury at the end of last season. He also missed time with a broken ankle previously in the campaign. It'll be something to monitor with the 25-year-old blueliner, who could be left out of the Opening Night lineup after the Blue Jackets added Damon Severson and Ivan Provorov via trade in the offseason.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Eric Robinson: Back from injury
Robinson (upper body) took the ice for Thursday's practice at Blue Jackets camp, Mark Scheig of The Hockey Writers reports.
Robinson missed the last three games of 2022-23 with the injury, but it was never a long-term concern. The 28-year-old winger eclipsed the 20-point mark for the second year in a row with 12 goals and 12 assists in 72 games last campaign, but he'll likely be confined to a bottom-six role in 2023-24.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Patrik Laine: Gets on the ice Thursday
Laine (triceps) took the ice Thursday for the first day of the Blue Jackets' training camp, Mark Scheig of The Hockey Writers reports.
Laine lined up as the right wing alongside Adam Fantilli for the first day of practice. The 25-year-old Laine appears to be recovered from the injury that ended his season in late March. There's been talk he could see time at center in 2023-24, but that's something that will likely be experimented with during the preseason.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Boone Jenner: Starts camp on time
Jenner (back) was on the ice for Thursday's practice to begin training camp, Mark Scheig of The Hockey Writers reports.
Jenner missed the last three games of 2022-23 with a back injury. He had 45 points in 68 contests while seeing top-six minutes last year. While it's unclear if he'll line up as a center or winger -- he was the pivot between Johnny Gaudreau and Kent Johnson on Thursday -- Jenner should still see top-six usage in 2023-24.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Justin Danforth: Lifted from IR
Danforth (shoulder) was removed from injured reserve Wednesday, per CapFriendly.
Danforth was limited to three points in six games last season before undergoing shoulder surgery in late October. Now nearly 11 months removed from the procedure, he should be good to go for training camp. Danforth will compete for a bottom-six role, though the Blue Jackets may want younger players to seize those spots as they continue through a rebuild.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Kirill Marchenko: Dealing with strained back
Marchenko is day-to-day with a strained back, per Aaron Portzline of The Athletic.
Marchenko scored 21 goals and 25 points in 59 outings in 2022-23. The 23-year-could serve in a top-six role while receiveing significant power-play ice time this season.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Daniil Tarasov: Battling knee injury
Tarasov is dealing with a knee injury and is considered day-to-day, Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports.
Tarasov had a 4-11-1 record, 3.91 GAA and .892 save percentage in 17 contests with the Blue Jackets in 2022-23. Provided he's healthy, Tarasov will compete with Aaron Dell for Columbus' backup job.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Jake Bean: Considered week-to-week
Bean (shoulder) is regarded as week-to-week as training camp begins, per Aaron Portzline of The Athletic.
Bean recorded a goal and six points in 14 games in 2022-23. He hasn't played since Nov. 15, 2022 because of the injury.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Mathieu Olivier: Is week-to-week
Olivier (lower leg) is considered to be week-to-week going into training camp, according to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic.
Olivier had five goals, 15 points 81 PIM and 178 hits in 66 games with Columbus in 2022-23. He's likely to serve on the fourth line once he's healthy.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' Jordan Dumais: Leading scorer in prospect tourney
Dumais led all scorers with eight points (four goals and four assists) in three games during the Traverse City Prospect Tournament, Jeff Svoboda of the Blue Jackets' official website reports.
Taken in the third round of the 2022 NHL Draft, Dumais has looked like a steal at times since his selection and is coming off the best QMJHL season in nearly two decades, as his 140 points (54 goals, 86 helpers) is the most the Q has seen since Alexander Radulov's 152 in 2005-06 and Sidney Crosby's 168 in 2004-05. Dumais' 5-foot-8 frame is a concern when it comes to his offensive skills translating to the NHL, but his skating has improved significantly since he was drafted and his vision and hockey IQ are elite. "Off the chart IQ," Traverse City teammate Adam Fantilli, the third overall pick in the 2023 draft, said after the tournament. "If I can't even see him, I'm still ready for a pass. He sees a lot of things I don't, and I just have to be ready for a pass. He's a really strong kid. He plays like he's a lot bigger than he is. He's got one of the best hockey brains I've ever played with, so being out there with him has been really special." Dumais still has a year of junior eligibility left and the 19-year-old would need a waiver to play in the AHL this season, but the Blue Jackets haven't ruled out applying for one -- or even keeping him on the NHL roster if he shows out in training camp.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jackets' James Malatesta: Ready for pro debut
Malatesta scored three goals in two games during the Traverse City Prospect Tournament while skating on both the power play and the penalty kill, Jeff Svoboda of the Blue Jackets' official website reports.
The 20-year-old winger is coming off a dazzling conclusion to his junior career, winning MVP awards in both the QMJHL playoffs and the Memorial Cup while leading his Quebec Remparts to both championships. Malatesta erupted for 37 goals and 66 points in 55 games during the regular season before adding 14 goals and 20 points in 18 playoff games last year, and while his 5-foot-9 stature leaves questions about how he'll hold up in the NHL, his strength on his skates and on-ice intensity mark him as a future asset on a checking or energy line. The 2021 fifth-round pick will make his pro debut with AHL Cleveland this season, with an NHL debut potentially following soon after if he adjusts quickly.... See More ... See Less
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