At 29 years old and playing his eighth season with the club, Cam Atkinson delivered the best season of his career for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Atkinson tied Rick Nash’s 2003-04 single-season record of 41 goals and also set new career-bests in assists (28) and points (69). Eight of his goals counted as game-winners and he also appeared in his second career NHL All-Star Game.
Not bad for a 5’8” sixth-round pick.
After going pointless in five games early in the season, Atkinson tallied 20 points in the next 12 games, including scoring a pair of hat tricks. Only three players in the NHL scored more shorthanded goals than Atkinson’s four, and his two goals in 31 seconds on October 27 set another franchise record.
The team was better with him on the ice, plain and simple. How much of this was playing with Artemi Panarin? This is a 2018-19 review, so that doesn’t really matter. And we’ll find out next season.
As good as Cam was, he did struggle at points. In the final 14 games of the season, he scored only three goals and three assists, shooting at a 7.9 percent pace—almost half of his season average. Two of goals came in the same game (a win at Nashville) the stretch saw him pick up only one point in a seven-game span. The playoffs didn’t turn out particularly awesome, either, as he failed to score in the six game series against Boston.
Still, Atkinson put the puck in the net more than anybody else on the team, and he’s one of the easiest players to root for. He’s a franchise cornerstone and a great season for him is a great season for the Blue Jackets.
2018-19 Cam Atkinson Stats
Games played: 80
Time on ice: 19:23
Penalty Minutes: 20
Corsi For (even strength): 51.8%
2018-19 Playoff Stats
Games played: 10
Time on ice: 18:30
Penalty Minutes: 4
Corsi For (even strength): 48.5%
Cam Atkinson is signed through 2024-25 at $5.875 million per year AAV thanks to a seven-year extension he signed in 2017. He’s not going anywhere.
Cam and his wife Natalie welcomed their son, Declan, over the summer. Declan made his fair share of appearances at games and always seemed to push his father to another gear, including a two-goal game in October. Watching Cam Dadkinson grow into fatherhood while lighting up opposing goalies was one of the season’s best storylines.
Hard to pick just one. One of his two hat tricks? His second All-Star Game appearance? Almost dropping an f-bomb on the mic after sweeping the Lightning? The two goals in 31 seconds? Let’s just show the Carolina hat trick:
The Boston series. He scored four points in six games, but all were assists. Not what you expect from a top-line player who cracked 40 goals on the season. There was also this:
How would you grade Cam Atkinson’s 2018-19 season?
This poll is closed