Blue Jackets season preview: Gaudreau will make an offensive affect

The 2022-23 NHL season begins Oct. 7. With coaching camps set to open quickly, NHL.com takes a have a look at the three keys, inside scoops on roster issues and the projected roster of every of the 32 groups. Immediately, the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Coach: Brad Larsen (second season)

Final season: 37-38-7, sixth place within the Metropolitan Division; didn’t qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs

3 KEYS

1. Gaudreau’s affect

The Blue Jackets arguably landed the free company prize by signing the left wing Johnny Gaudreau to a seven-year, $68.25 million contract (common annual worth of $9.75 million) on July 13. Final season, Gaudreau tied for second within the NHL with a career-high 115 factors (40 targets, 75 assists) in 82 Calgary Flames video games.

The Blue Jackets have not had a participant like Gaudreau since. Artemi Panarin performed two seasons at Columbus from 2017 to 2019. Panarin continued to depart through free company, nevertheless, when he signed with the New York Rangers on July 1, 2019. That very same summer season, the Blue Jackets additionally misplaced the goalkeeper. Sergei Bobrovsky and ahead Matt Duchene in free company.

Columbus’ hope is that signing Gaudreau will change the narrative and present the Ohio capital could be a vacation spot marketplace for the NHL’s finest gamers, however he and the Blue Jackets want to point out it on the ice too. .

Which means Gaudreau is below strain to convey his offensive recreation to the Blue Jackets, who want it after lacking the Stanley Cup Playoffs by 19 factors final season.

2. Wool manufacturing

Gaudreau may have a major affect on the proper wing Patrick Laine at even power and on the facility play. They’re set to be the 2 wings of Columbus’ high line and ought to be the playmaker (Gaudreau) and shooter (Laine) for the most effective power-play unit.

Laine, who confirmed his enthusiasm for Gaudreau by signing a four-year, $34.8 million ($8.7 million AAV) contract on July 23, had 56 factors (26 targets, 30 assists) in 56 video games. with the Blue Jackets final season, but it surely was and not using a participant like Gaudreau getting ready him. He may rating 50 targets this season.

Video: Top 5 pieces by Patrik Laine for the 2021-22 season

3. Central depth

One of many largest questions for the Blue Jackets is who will play middle of the primary line, seemingly between Gaudreau and Laine? They do not have a confirmed No. 1 middle.

The highest three candidates are Boone Jenner, Jack Roslovic and cole sillinger. Newbie Kent Johnson could possibly be an possibility in the event that they attempt to put him between Gaudreau and Laine and he impresses, however he’s additional away.

That being stated, Jenner is perhaps the favourite. The 29-year-old is a veteran middle who can get the puck within the zone and get well rapidly, successfully doing all of the soiled work essential to make sure Gaudreau and Laine are as efficient as they should be. He may rating. Final season, he had 44 factors (23 targets, 21 assists) in 59 video games.

Roslovic, who has performed with Laine up to now, had 45 factors (22 targets, 23 assists) in 81 video games final season.

Sillinger, in the meantime, impressed as an 18-year-old rookie, having 31 factors (16 targets, 15 assists) in 79 video games. He too may have his probability, however it could be on the third line that he’ll begin.

LIST SUMMARY

make the minimize

Johnson and proper wing Kirill Marchenko are the 2 most intriguing gamers to look at in coaching camp. There are spots obtainable for each rookies, however the Blue Jackets will not hesitate to start out them within the American Hockey League in the event that they assume they want extra expertise. Johnson, who was the fifth decide within the 2021 NHL Draft, had three assists in 9 video games final season after the 19-year-old accomplished his second season on the College of Michigan. Marchenko is getting into his first season in North America after the 22-year-old performed the previous three seasons with SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League. With ahead Alexandre Texier not taking part in this season below the steerage and suggestions of the NHL/NHLPA Habit and Behavioral Well being Program, the Blue Jackets must fill that void. Mathieu-Olivier, Justin Danforth, Emil Bemstrom and Liam Foudy may even compete for locations on the listing.

Defender Nick Blankenburg can earn a top-six function in coaching camp, however to do this he’ll seemingly should beat Jake Bean The place Andrew Peek.

Most intriguing addition

The truth that Gaudreau selected the Blue Jackets was one of many largest tales of this offseason. A lot has been stated about his risk of taking part in for the Philadelphia Flyers, his hometown workforce, the New Jersey Devils or the New York Islanders, however the 29-year-old ahead selected Columbus, which didn’t was not deliberate. Now the strain is on him to ship for the Blue Jackets.

Video: Johnny Gaudreau joins the NHL tonight

The largest potential shock

Johnson is not a lock for the opening evening roster, he has to earn it in coaching camp. Nonetheless, if he succeeds, he could possibly be an instantaneous hit within the Blue Jackets roster. Johnson had 37 factors (eight targets, 29 assists) in 32 video games at Michigan final season, and he may have extra time to develop. He is solely 6-foot-1 and weighs 167 kilos, however the purpose he makes the workforce is as a result of the Blue Jackets imagine he could be a nice participant for them instantly.

Able to drill

Adam Boqvist is 22 years outdated and has already performed 128 NHL video games with the Blackhawks and the Chicago Blue Jackets. Chicago was so excessive on the 6-foot, 189-pound Swedish-born defenseman that they chose him with the No. 8 decide within the 2018 NHL Draft. Columbus was so excessive on him that he was the important thing factor he acquired again within the commerce for the defender Seth Jones on July 23, 2021. Boqvist completed with 22 factors (11 targets, 11 assists) in 52 video games final season, and he may have the possibility to play on high pairing with Zach Werensky if he proves he could be a more practical participant within the defensive zone.

Fantasy sleeper

Roslovic, C (undrafted common in fantasy) — He led the Blue Jackets with 5-5 targets per 60 minutes (1.08; minimal 50 video games) final season, and his potential to be the middle of the primary line with elite wingers Gaudreau and Laine makes him a deep sleeper. –Anna Doua

PROJECTED RANGE

Johnny Gaudreau — Boone Jenner — Patrik Laine

Gustave Nyquist –Jack Roslovic– Jakub Voracek

Kent Johnson–Cole Sillinger–Kirill Marchenko

Eric RobinsonSean Kurali –Mathieu Olivier

Zach Werensky — Erik Gudbranson

Vladislav Gavrikov –Adam Boqvist

Jake Bean – Nick Blankenburg

Elvis Merzlikins

Joonas Korpisalo

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