For the first time in franchise history, the Columbus Blue Jackets will open the season with a first line that can compete with any across the National Hockey League. At Media Day this afternoon, Clay Hall of WSYX in Columbus caught the following image:
So, to open the season, new acquisition Artemi Panarin will start on the first line left wing (and he will likely stay there all season due to his playmaking and goal scoring ability). In the middle will be the newly re-signed Alexander Wennberg, who will again play this season as the team’s number one center. On the right wing will be last season’s leading goal scorer and All Star Cam Atkinson.
That line brings offensive firepower, with Wennberg’s gifted passing ability allowing him to set up either of his linemates to finish plays; he will also likely have shooting lanes of his own this season that he hasn’t had until now.
Add in playing time with Seth Jones and Zach Werenski and the Blue Jackets will have a legitimate ability to score and make plays from every position on the ice.
We’re almost there, folks.