The 2022-23 NHL season begins October 7. With training camps opening soon, NHL.com is taking a look at the three keys, inside the scoop on roster questions, and the expected lineup for each of the 32 teams. Today, Columbus’ blue jackets.
Fitness Trainer: Brad Larsen (season two)
Last season: 37-38-7, sixth place in the capital division; Did not qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs
1. Gaudreau effect
It can be said that The Blue Jackets won the Free Agency Award by signing on the left wing Johnny Goudreu to a seven-year contract worth $68.25 million (average annual value of $9.75 million) on July 13. Last season, Gaudreau finished second in the NHL with 115 points (40 goals, 75 assists) in 82 games for the Calgary Flames.
The Blue Jackets haven’t had a player like Gaudreau since then Artemi Banarin He played two seasons in Columbus from 2017-19. Panarin was going to go on to leave via free agency, though, when he signed with the New York Rangers on July 1, 2019. That same summer, the Blue Jackets also lost to the goalkeeper. Sergey Bobrovsky forward Matt Duchene In free agency.
The hope for Columbus is that signing Gaudreau will change the narrative and show that the Ohio capital can be a destination market for the top players in the NHL, but he and the Blue Jackets have to put that on the ice as well.
That means the pressure is on Gaudreau to bring his offensive style to the Blue Jackets, who need it after he missed the Stanley Cup playoffs by 19 points last season.
2. Lean production
Gaudreau can have a huge impact on the right wing Patrick Lin Whether in force or in play on power. They are set up to be the top-line wingers for Columbus and the playmaker (Gaudreau) and pitcher (Laine) should be at the top of the power unit.
Laine, who showed his enthusiasm for Gaudreau by signing a $34.8 million ($8.7 million) four-year contract on July 23, had 56 points (26 goals, 30 assists) in 56 games for the Blue Jackets last season, but This was without a player like Gaudreau. He could be the top scorer of 50 goals this season.
3. Center depth
One of the biggest questions for the Blue Jackets team is who will play first, most likely between Gaudreau and Laine? They do not have the No. 1 position installed.
The top three candidates are Bon JennerAnd the Jack Ruslovich And the Cole Selinger. non-veteran Kent Johnson It could be an option if they try to put it between Gaudreau and Laine and it’s impressive, but it’s more of a long shot.
With that said, Jenner might be a favourite. The 29-year-old is a veteran center who can go for a low puck in the area and recover quickly, effectively doing all the dirty work needed to make sure Gaudreau and Laine are just as effective. It can also record. Last season he had 44 points (23 goals, 21 assists) in 59 games.
Roslovic, who has played for Lynn in the past, scored 45 points (22 goals, 23 assists) in 81 games last season.
Meanwhile, Sillinger impressed as an 18-year-old rookie, racking up 31 points (16 goals, 15 assists) in 79 games. He too will get his chance, but the third line might be where he begins.
making the cut
Johnson and the right wing Kirill Marchenko They are the two most interesting players to watch in training camp. There are places available for both rookie teams, but the Blue Jackets won’t hesitate to start their NHL tournament if they think they need a little more spice. Johnson, who was No. 5 in the 2021 NHL Draft competition, had three assists in nine games last season after the 19-year-old finished his sophomore season at the University of Michigan. Marchenko is entering his first season in North America after the 22-year-old played the past three seasons for SKA Saint Petersburg in the Continental Hockey League. With forward Alexander Teixier not playing this season on the advice and recommendation of the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program, the Blue Jackets will have to fill that hole. Matthew OliverAnd the Justin DanforthAnd the Emil Bimstrom And the Liam Foddy You will also be competing for list positions.
defenseman Nick Blankenburg He could win a role in the top six in training camp, but to do so, he will likely have to excel Jake Ben or Andrew Beck.
The most interesting addition
Goudreau’s selection of blue jackets was one of the biggest events of the season. There was a lot of talk that he might play for the Philadelphia Flyers, his hometown team, the New Jersey Devils or the New York Islanders, but the 29-year-old forward picked Columbus, which was unexpected. Now click on it to hand the blue jackets.
The biggest possible surprise
Johnson isn’t a lock on his opening night roster, he has to earn it in training camp. However, if he manages to make it, he could be an instant hit in the Blue Jackets lineup. Johnson had 37 points (eight goals, 29 assists) in 32 games at Michigan last season, and he may need more time to develop. He’s only 6-foot-1, 167 pounds, but if he makes the team, it’s because the Blue Jackets think he could be a big player for them right away.
ready to hack
Adam Bockvist At 22 years old, he has already played in 128 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks and Blue Jackets. Chicago was so high on the 6-foot, 189-pound Swedish-born defensive man that they picked him with the No. 8 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. Columbus had so much interest in him that he was the key piece he got in return in the man of defense trade. Seth Jones On July 23, 2021. He finished Bukvist with 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 52 games last season, and he will have a chance to play with the top pair. Zach Ferensky If he proves he can be a more effective player in the defensive zone.
Ruslovich, C. (unpolished average in fiction) – He led the Blue Jackets in 5-5 goals in 60 minutes (1.08; 50 games at least) last season, and his ability to be a centerpiece in the first line with elite wingers Gaudreau and Laine could put him in charge. – Anna Dua
Johnny Goudreau – Bon Jenner – Patrick Lane
Gustav Nyquist – Jack Roslovich – Jacob Voracek
Kent Johnson – Cole Selinger – Kirill Marchenko
Eric Robinson – Sean Coralie – Matthew Oliver
Zach Ferensky – Eric Gudbranson
Vladislav Gavrikov – Adam Bockvist
Jake Bean – Nick Blankenburg