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Blue Jackets trade Sonny Milano for Devin Shore

An uninspiring swap of uninspired players

Columbus Blue Jackets v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Columbus Blue Jackets finally woke up late on trade deadline day and...did something far from the blockbuster deals of last year. They have swapped forwards, sending Sonny Milano to Anaheim for Devin Shore.

Drafted in the first round of the 2014 NHL Entry draft Milano was said to be the future of the Jackets. Many thought he would turn the team’s luck around and add some scoring prowess to the lineup.

After being drafted, Milano had a banner season with the Plymouth Whalers (OHL) posting 68 points in 50 games. At the end of season, he made his professional hockey debut with the Jackets farm team at the time, the Springfield Falcons, scoring five points in his first 10 games.

The next season the farm team was moved to Cleveland. Milano did great work for the Lake Erie/Cleveland Monsters. Especially during the 2015-16 season where he helped guide them to a Calder Cup Championship. During that season he posted 31 regular season points over 54 games and eight (4g, 4a) post season points.

Over the next few seasons, Milano struggled a bit to make both the simple and blue collar plays which is why he was bounced between the two leagues so often. Coach John Madden worked hard with Milano during the 2018-19 season to add simple, blue collar, and defensive style plays to his wheelhouse. Once Milano added those tricks to his playbook, life at the AHL level became much easier. He was able to defend himself while still putting up points. The proof was in the pudding when they played aggressive teams like the Syracuse Crunch and Toronto Marlies in the 2019 playoffs. Normally Milano would get knocked off the puck and not lay hits. During the playoffs, he laid bone rattling hits, pushed opponents off the puck, and scored 10 points (2g, 8a) over eight post season games.

Milano has played in 46 games for the CBJ this season, posting five goals and 13 assists. He’s shown scoring skill—who can forget his goal of the year to start the season—but has also spent a fair amount of time in the press box as of late, including a five-game spate of healthy scratches a few weeks ago (and Thursday night against Philadelphia).

He picked up five points in a six-game stretch to start January, only to see his ice time ebb and flow as he struggled (and, as regular readers of this site understand, create a chicken-or-the-egg situation with respect to his playing time and his production). Milano has long been seen as an untapped reservoir of potential, seemingly at odds with John Tortorella’s hard-nosed style of play and defensive priority. The trade will give him a new opportunity and a change of scenery.

We will update this as more details come in...