Rick Nash is the best Blue Jacket ever - for now at least. Cam Atkinson may not be the talent that Nash was, but Cam has been a mainstay on what has been the most successful stretch of hockey in the franchise’s history. Several Nash records have already fallen and Cam is hoping he’ll have the chance to tackle a few more before his tenure as a Columbus Blue Jacket is over.
Cam Atkinson, a native of Riverside, Connecticut, was drafted in the sixth round, 157th overall, in the 2008 NHL entry draft. Currently, Cam sits at 15th all-time in goals scored by a sixth round draft pick. He’ll have the opportunity to climb into the top ten before his career is over - he sits just 44 goals behind Shawn McEachern.
He’s broken several Rick Nash records in recent years. He now holds the franchise records for most hat tricks (6) and most short-handed goals (16). He trails Nash in game winning goals by 2, games played by 52, and goals by 77. In 2018-2019, Cam became only the second Blue Jacket to become a 40 goal scorer, equaling the franchise season record of 41 set by Nash in 2003-2004. More importantly, Atkinson has played 31 more playoffs games than Rick Nash as a Blue Jacket.
The records themselves don’t make Cam Atkinson Columbus’ most successful player. He’s also been a top line contributor for almost every major franchise milestone. Cam led the team in goals and points during “The Streak” and over the course of that 108 point season. He’s also been a Blue Jacket for every playoff win and series win.
Off the ice, Cam has been a big part of the Columbus community. He’s the co-founder of the Force Network Fund, which raises money in support of first responders. During the pandemic, he worked to raise money to support local businesses. He’s also the co-founder of the Battery Hockey Academy, a central Ohio hockey school, where he coaches alongside former teammates Jared Boll and Fedor Tyutin.
Cam Atkinson will forever be one of my favorite Blue Jackets. He’s helped make Blue Jackets hockey what it is today. At a generously labeled 5’8”, he’s been no stranger to the role of underdog, a title that Ohio sports fans can all relate to. Columbus has seen greater talents such as Nash, Fedorov, and Panarin, but Atkinson will go down as the only guy that was always a Blue Jacket. Cam Atkinson is Columbus’ golden boy - the franchise’s most successful player thus far.
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