Player News - Blue Jackets

Date: Team: Pos:

Coach Todd Richards is expecting Brandon Saad to be a leader with the Blue Jackets.

"We know what type of player he is; he's an honest, hard-working player with a lot of speed and he can finish plays," said Richards. "He was on a great team and he's going to come in here and make this team better, there's no doubt in my mind." The Columbus bench boss wouldn't discuss his potential line combinations, but Saad is expected to get playing time with Ryan Johansen and Brandon Dubinsky as a top-six forward.
Aug 24 - 9:48 PM

Paul Bittner has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Columbus.

The Blue Jackets took Bittner with the 38th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. "He is a big and skilled forward who took some great steps in his game while recently taking part in the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid," said GM Jarmo Kekalainen. "We look forward to his growth within our organization in the upcoming years." He produced 34 goals and 71 points in 66 games with Portland of the WHL last season. Bittner is expected to be back with the Winterhawks this season.
Aug 20 - 12:22 PM

David Savard worked hard on his conditioning and it helped him enjoy a breakout season in 2014-15.

His average ice time per game went up 5:37 from 17:19 in 2013-14 thanks to his improved conditioning and a spot on the top defense pairing with Jack Johnson. Savard led the Blue Jackets in total shifts (2,165) and even-strength ice time (1,486:10). He is expected to be a fixture on the power play in 2015-16 and could surpass the 40-point mark. That would work out perfectly for Savard, as he will be a restricted free agent next summer. He has come a long way for a player who almost didn't get a qualifying offer after the 2013 season.
Aug 19 - 12:58 PM

Chris Chelios was impressed with Columbus draft pick Zach Werenski during the United States' Evaluation Camp for the 2016 World Junior Championship.

"He's done everything right (in camp)," said Chelios, who coached the defensemen. "He keeps the play simple – a real steady eddy. Probably one of the top guys as far as being consistent every game. Like I said, he's doing everything right. There's not one bad thing you can say about his game." His teammates, and fellow Blue Jackets selections Sonny Milano and Ryan Collins, praised Werenski's poise and steadiness as well. Werenski, who was eighth overall choice in 2015, is slated to return to the University of Michigan this campaign.
Aug 17 - 2:20 PM

Blue Jackets' first rounder Zach Werenski plans to return to the University of Michigan last season, but may feel the lure to sign a pro contract over the next few weeks.

Classes in Ann Arbor begin Sept. 8, by which the prized defenseman will finalize his decision on whether to return or forgo his education, sign an entry level deal with the Columbus, participate in NHL training camp and play next season with the mighty London Knights of the OHL. Future teammate and the Jackets' first round pick from last year, Sonny Milano, decided late in the summer to sign a pro contract, will Werenski follow suit?
Aug 15 - 10:54 AM

Alexander Wennberg is projected to be Columbus' third-line center in 2015-16.

He will have to work on his faceoffs after he won 42.7 percent of them last year, but Wennberg played well down the stretch with 11 points in his last 17 contests. He was a good fit alongside Scott Hartnell and David Clarkson or Rene Bourque could be options on his other wing.
Aug 13 - 3:00 PM

Boone Jenner is projected to play with Ryan Johansen or Brandon Dubinsky in 2015-16.

He potted 16 goals in 72 games as a rookie and he was on a 24-goal pace last year, with nine markers in 31 contests, but injuries held him back. Jenner will be playing the final season of his entry-level deal this campaign, so he'll be looking to impress. The 22-year-old is expected to be a key member of the team moving forward.
Aug 10 - 1:58 PM

Ryan Murray's agent, Rick Valette, said the Columbus defenseman is at full health.

"Ryan has had a very productive summer, is healthy, and is eager for the season to start," said Valette. Murray missed nearly the entire season in 2014-15 because of injuries. In 12 outings, he earned three points and averaged nearly 19 minutes of ice time per contest. Murray might be paired with Fedor Tyutin this campaign.
Aug 7 - 9:28 PM

Columbus made the loan of Oscar Dansk to Rogle BK official on Thursday.

He will play for Rogle BK in the Swedish Hockey League. Danks registered a 7-7-5 record with a 3.57 goals-against average and an .880 save percentage in 21 appearances with the AHL's Springfield Falcons last season.
Aug 6 - 3:55 PM

David Clarkson is projected to be a third-line winger for Columbus this season.

He didn't last long with his new team last year, as he was hurt in his first appearance and missed the final 19 games due to an abdominal injury. Clarkson is not expected to make much of an impact offensively, but he can contribute hits and around 100 penalty minutes if he stays healthy.
Aug 6 - 12:22 PM

Brandon Saad is projected to play with Ryan Johansen during his first season with Columbus.

However, he may be a good fit alongside Brandon Dubinsky too. Regardless of who he plays with, Saad is bound to see an increase in responsibility with his new team. The 22-year-old has won two Stanley Cups and he's coming off a 52-point season. He will get plenty of opportunities to surpass the 60-point mark in 2015-16.
Aug 5 - 2:27 PM

Brandon Dubinsky should be poised for a big year as the Blue Jackets look to contend in 2015-2016.

Dubinsky has always been a solid fantasy contributor but has become tagged as an injury-prone player. He appeared in just 47 games last season, scoring 13 goals and 36 points with a plus 11 rating and 43 penalty minutes. He is a rare player that can contribute in every fantasy category, similar to his teammate, Scott Hartnell. He carries a bit more risk than Hartnell due to his injury history but if he is able to play a full season, he could become a top 75 fantasy player overall and reward drafters with a big payout. The Blue Jackets have made some nice additions to their roster and Dubinsky will be healthy entering camp which means he will play an important role in leading the offense.
Aug 2 - 5:31 PM

Brandon Saad ranks second on the Blue Jackets in playoff experience.

Of course, all 67 of those games were with the Blackhawks. What’s noteworthy is that Saad is only 22 years old, and trails Scott Hartnell, who is 33, by 24 games on the list. This underscores the relatively little playoff experience the Blue Jackets have on their roster, though it has grown in recent seasons with several additions. Brandon Dubinsky and his 37 games are first among team holdovers. The Blue Jackets have reached the playoffs twice in their 14 seasons.
Jul 26 - 5:36 PM

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed center Michael Chaput to a one-year/two-way contract.

Chaput played 33 games for the Blue Jackets last season and the 23-year-old had a goal and four helpers but was sent to the minors on January 6 and was not recalled. He will make $650,000 in the NHL next season, if he sticks.
Jul 23 - 5:24 PM

The Blue Jackets are not panicking after the disappointment of last season.

They finished 11th in the Eastern Conference with a 42-35-5 record, primarily because of their rash of injuries. They led the NHL with 508 man-games lost last season. It's why president of hockey operations John Davidson is optimistic for this year. "It's behind us now," Davidson said. "You hear what people say about our team, and a lot of people are excited to see what this group can do if we stay healthy. What we endured last season … it's something I've never seen before, and I don't ever want to go through it again. But it's behind us now." They did not make any changes to their medical/training/conditioning staff. "We've studied our doctors, we've studied our trainers, we've studied how our players are conditioned," Davidson said. "It's just flat-out bad luck what we went through last season."
Jul 19 - 3:49 PM

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