Russell was acquired by the Blue Jackets in a minor deal with the Montreal Canadiens in July 2011. He played 41 games with Columbus in 2011-12, scoring two points and registering two penalty minutes in those games. He scored nine goals and six assists in 31 games with the Blue Jackets' AHL affiliate Springfield Falcons. He made his NHL debut on January 17.
The 25-year-old projects as a depth player in the NHL, and his versatility in playing both wing and center ice suit him well. He's a small player, however, weighing in at just 180 pounds on a 5-foot-10 frame, and that's a concern for his NHL future.
For full coverage of NHL free agency this offseason, stick with SB Nation's NHL hub.