Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Nicholas Lorenzi on 09/12/11 at 05:10 PM ET
With the last two games combined Columbus already bested their record from 2010. Last year they tallied 4 losses with 8 goals for and 23 goals against. After the last two days they currently stand at 10 goals for and 9 goals against. On Saturday they bested the Detroit with a 7-3 win but fell yesterday to Buffalo with a score of 6-3.
As of now 20 year old defenseman David Savard is leading the Jacket’s prospects with 5 points (1G, 4A).
This is no surprise for a skater who was named CHL defenseman of the year in 2010 after a 77 point season with the Moncton Wildcats. He’s the skater on the blue line that can find the back of the net easily. Without a doubt he will be a great option for the Jackets defensive line during the upcoming season.
With the acquisition of Radek Martinek this may be an even greater possibility. Martinek was severely injured at the 2011 World Championships playing for Team Czech Republic. During a game against Team Lativa he received a punishing blow from Atlanta Thrasher’s Arturs Kulda. This resulted in a concussion and trauma to his spine. Not only did this happen but throughout his career he has been injury prone never completing an entire season. In the past 6 seasons he averaged 42 games. Columbus has checked him out and see his health being well, at least good enough to play as a Jacket.
Other prospects like Ryan Johansen , Cam Atkinson and Thomas Kubalik are showing up to play also.
19 year old center Ryan Johansen has already bested his 2010 Traverse City record of three points (3GP, 1G, 2A, 0+/-) with four points (2GP, 1G, 3A, 2+/-). He is making an effort at his chance to wear the Blue Jackets uniform again but this could be the toughest moment to do so. After the trade of Jakub Voracek for Jeff Carter and acquiring Vinny Prospal to fill the gap of a hurt Christian Huselius there simply isn’t any room. I’d hate to think that Ryan watches games in his living room hoping that Jared Boll breaks his hand again in a fight or that Derek Dorsett hurts himself crashing the net. From 2009-2011 with the WHL Portland Winterhawks he pushed the envelope with 161 points in 134 game. Even with those numbers my guess is he’ll spend one more year in the prospect crock pot. Who knows, he’s great trade material. We can’t have this happening in Columbus.
Right winger Thomas Kubalik at 21 years old has been producing in Traverse City the last two games, leading Columbus in goals. Last year he recorded three points (4GP, 2G, 1A, 1+/-), so far he has tallied the same numbers in two games but increased his +/- to 3. Last season he came in late for the Jackets and tallied 2 assists is debut game against Washington, being the third player in team history to do so. As a rookie for the AHL Springfield Falcons he registered 53 points in 76 games. This scrappy winger is certainly a possibility for the Jackets if he can bring more speed to his game.
Cameron “Cam” Atkinson is the new kid on the block. At 22 he has played for Boston College and racked up 124 points for the three seasons he was there, playing 117 games. In Traverse City he is leading in +/- with 4 and tallied 3 points (1G, 2A). This hardworking individual earned the MVP title for the Hockey East Championship after helping Boston defend their title in 2010. It will be interesting to see him skating during preseason with his Martin St. Louis style of play. Like Martin he is the runt of the team at 5 foot 8 inches, which could explain why he is one of his biggest fans. There is a very good possibility you will see Cam skating during the regular season for a few games, possibly more if the Jackets start falling off the wagon again.
One former prospect that I will be keeping my eye on is Matt Calvert. There’s no telling where left winger’s career could go. He gained a hat trick his rookie season with the Jackets and skates harder than anyone on the ice. He’s starting to shine and could be the player that may be switched out if he doesn’t bring his A game this season. I bring this up because he led Columbus in points with 7 during the 2009 Traverse City tournament, the most in Columbus’s past few years. In 2009-2010 in the WHL he neared a 100 point season with 99 points in 68 games (47-52).
The next game Columbus has is Tuesday the 13th 6:30pm against Minnesota. They have also beaten Detroit with a score of 4-2 and also lost to Buffalo with the same score as Columbus had 6-3.
A note to readers: I was in the process of moving and was without an internet connection for quite some time, my apologies.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nicholas Lorenzi, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: blue+jackets, cam+atkinson, columbus, david+savard, radek+martinek, ryan+johansen, thomas+kubalik, traverse+city
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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