After a breakout rookie season in Columbus in 2012-13, Dalton Prout will have the start of his sophomore NHL season delayed.
The Blue Jackets announced this afternoon that Prout underwent surgery today to repair what's being termed as a "lingering abdominal injury," and he's expected to miss the start of camp next month as a result. GM Jarmo Kekalainen said in a team-issued statement that Prout had recently complained of soreness and a muscle tear was the initial diagnosis, but further tests showed a "slight tear" and thus surgery was required.
"We discovered this week that there was actually a small tear and that surgery would be his best option,” Kekalainen said. “The typical recovery time for an injury like this is six weeks, so our hope is he will be ready by the start of the regular season.”
Prout burst on the scene this past season, arriving for his first game in Chicago midway through the first period and stepping right into the fire. From there, though, things settled down and Prout settled in to a regular spot in the Blue Jackets lineup; he played 28 games in Columbus and racked up a team-best +15 rating in that time.
Stay tuned to BlueJackets.com for further updates on this story.
When Joonas Korpisalo was drafted by the Blue Jackets in 2012, he raised some eyebrows when asked about his goal for the upcoming season.
"I want to be the No. 1 goalie in Columbus," he told reporters at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. He did so with a straight face.
A bright-eyed, over-the-moon excited Korpisalo didn't mean he was eyeing the top job in the years ahead. He was talking about 2012 and being the Blue Jackets' starting goaltender, and while it seemed a bit ambitious for a kid who had his name called 15 minutes prior, that's just who he is: a driven and extremely competitive player who has taken a lot in his short time working with Blue Jackets goaltending coach Ian Clark and applied those lessons to his budding career in Finland.
This week marks the beginning of Finland's 2014 World Junior evaluation camp, and as one of two goaltenders invited to Lake Placid, Korpisalo has a realistic chance of being the team's No. 1 goalie when the tournament begins in December.
It's not out of the realm of possibility that the Blue Jackets could have three prospects representing Sweden at the 2014 World Junior tournament.
Not only would it be a strong showcase for three of the organization's bright young European-born players - Alex Wennberg, Oscar Dansk and Daniel Zaar are under consideration - but it would be a memorable experience for the players, as the annual tournament is being staged in Malmo, Sweden in December.
This is a big opportunity for all three players, who were selected in the last two drafts by the Blue Jackets. Dansk (second round) and Zaar (sixth round) were picked during the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh, while Wennberg was GM Jarmo Kekalainen's first of three first-round picks at this year's draft in New Jersey.
All three players have been invited to and will participate in Sweden's pre-World Junior evaluation camp, which opens this week in Lake Placid, N.Y. They will not be the only Blue Jackets prospects in attendance for the week-long camp that also features Canada, the United States and Finland. Each country will hold its own practice schedule for the week, but there is also a four-team mini-tournament on the schedule.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - When national junior team evaluation camps begin next weekend in Lake Placid, the Blue Jackets will have two prominent names participating for Hockey Canada.
Kerby Rychel, the team's second first-round pick (No. 19 overall) at the 2013 NHL Draft in New Jersey is one of 20 forwards invited to Canada's 2014 evaluation camp. Dillon Heatherington, the rangy defenseman from the Swift Current Broncos who was Columbus' fourth pick (No. 50 overall) in that same draft, has also been invited to camp for Canada as one of 10 defensemen.
The 2014 national junior team evaluation camp is sort of a junior hockey summit, with the United States, Canada, Sweden and Finland all holding practices at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid during the week of Aug. 3-10.
Coming off back-to-back 40-goal seasons with the Windsor Spitfires, Rychel is a strong contender to be one of the forwards on Canada's final WJC roster. He could play a significant role on the team, as well, alongside a star-studded group of forwards that includes Connor McDavid, Max Domi, Hunter Shinkaruk, Bo Horvat, Sean Monahan and others.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - In the wake of the NHL announcing an agreement for its players to take part in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, several national hockey associations are beginning to formulate their rosters.
While Canada and the United States are expected to announce their preliminary rosters in the coming days, Russia released its initial group of 35 this morning. Among the group are four Blue Jackets: Sergei Bobrovsky, Artem Anisimov, Fedor Tyutin and Nikita Nikitin.
Russia also announced it will hold its preliminary Olympic camp on Aug. 23-24 in Sochi.
One of the most notable items on the early Russian roster: the omission of Ilya Bryzgalov, who was the starting netminder for Russia during the World Championship tournament. The complete goaltending roster includes Bobrovsky, Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche, Evgeni Nabokov of the New York Islanders and also Vasily Koshechkin.
I remember sitting in my apartment in college, eating a five dollar pizza and clinging to a couch that probably cost even less.
That part of the story isn’t exactly unique, but what my friends and I were watching is something we won’t soon forget.
Let’s preface this story: most of us were huge hockey fans, but there were a few who either dabbled or were only interested because of the situation. It was 2010 and the Olympic Winter Games were being held in Vancouver, and it was a tournament that provided some of our most profound hockey memories in a span of two weeks. Those Olympics provided the kind of hockey exposure that can captivate someone who had previously expressed a passing interest in the game; I happened to see that in spades from my vantage point.
The campus bars on Court St. in Athens were filled with red, white and blue gear and “USA!” chants – which, during my college days, weren’t thrown around so haphazardly. People were planning their days around the Olympic hockey schedule. It was awesome.
It was also the only time I can remember our group of friends – which included Browns fans, Steelers fans, Blue Jackets fans, Penguins fans and a lonely Bengals fan – unified over something related to sport.Here’s the best news: we get to do it all over again in a few months.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - At Nathan Horton's introductory press conference earlier this month, Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson offered a familiar refrain.
When prospect defenseman Ryan Murray suffered a season-ending shoulder injury during a WHL game in November, Davidson said the organization's first and only goal was to make sure the necessary surgery would be done promptly and properly, in order to ensure the player's full recovery before taking the ice again.
That was the case in early July when the Blue Jackets signed Horton to a seven-year contract: the 28-year-old power forward was injured in overtime of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks and did not return, and wanted to wait until signing with a new club before deciding on surgery.
After consultation with Blue Jackets team doctors and management, they opted to have Dr. Jon Warner at the Boston Shoulder Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital conduct the procedure.
Surgery was deemed a success on Wednesday morning, and Horton's projected recovery timetable (four to six months) remains unchanged. Horton had said he's hoping for something closer to four months, but is committed to any necessary time frame so that he doesn't have to worry about further injury.
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Anton Forsberg has been a popular topic of conversation among Blue Jackets fans after two consecutive years of impressing at development camp. While they'll have to wait a bit longer to see him play in North America, the next step of his career is no less exciting for him and the organization.
Forsberg, who will turn 21 in the fall, is slated to make the jump from Sweden's Allsvenskan league (second division) to the Swedish Elite League this year. He signed his entry-level contract with the Blue Jackets earlier in the offseason and will suit up for Modo - one of the most successful hockey organizations in Europe and a club that's hosted some of the top Swedish-born players in the history of the sport - in the 2013-14 season.
Whether he becomes the starting goaltender for Modo is purely up to him, but Forsberg is clearly advancing in his development. The Blue Jackets had high hopes for Forsberg, their seventh-round pick (No. 188 overall) in 2011, and he appears to be on the verge of becoming a legitimate No. 1 netminder.
"It’s an opportunity for him to backstop a team at one of the top levels in the world," Blue Jackets goaltending coach Ian Clark said. "Anton is a structurally fantastic goaltender who continues to evolve the competitive and athletic sides of his game. He’s a tremendous worker; if I could pick a goalie that I know works as hard as Sergei Bobrovsky, it’s Anton Forsberg. That’s always nice to have in your back pocket with an organization."