2022-23 Player Review: Carson Meyer collected an NHL paycheck for much of the season
Have we seen the last of him in Columbus?
Carson Meyer collected his $750,000 NHL salary for about half of the season despite playing in only 14 games with the big club. Meyer skated on the 4th line in 13 games from Thanksgiving until just after the New Year, posting exactly zero points and zero assists. Expectations weren't exactly high for Meyer, but he was given a chance to make a statement with such an injury ravaged lineup and unfortunately performed as any other warm body would.
Meyer suffered an oblique injury in mid-January that put him on the shelf for about 5 weeks. It must have been a tough pill for him to swallow considering he was getting some consistent playing time, but earning his full NHL salary rather than his AHL salary that is a sixth of his big league one cushioned the blow.
Meyer had the most effect on the Cleveland Monsters, which wasn't even so much based on his play, but the amount of time he missed. With how shorthanded Cleveland became due to their parent club's injury woes, Meyer would have helped lessen the burden on Trey Fix-Wolansky to carry the offense. He did put up 26 points in 34 games in Cleveland this year, and was very productive and noticeable when he did suit up for the Monsters. He could be a veteran voice in the room with Cleveland if he and the franchise decide to continue the relationship next season.
5v5 CF%: 46.99%
5v5 FF%: 46.32%
Meyer is once again a restricted free agent, having signed another one-year deal last summer that saw him get a nice raise to his minor league salary. After a disappointing season with the Blue Jackets, I wouldn't be surprised to see him search for other opportunities elsewhere considering the logjam of bottom-six forwards in the organization.
If he's willing to stick around in a similar role and perhaps play a few games with the Jackets while playing a large role in Cleveland, then I could see Jarmo offering him another one or two-year deal. However, I couldn't blame him for wanting to see what else is out there.
Meyer got rid of his goose egg in his final NHL game of the year. He received a great outlet pass from Tim Berni to spring him on a breakaway. Had he collected the pass cleaner, he probably would have had a better angle when attacking the net, but he made the most of his situation getting off a shot, and sticking with the rebound to give it another whack which landed on Liam Foudy's stick for a goal.
The oblique injury that sidelined him really derailed any chance of Meyer staking his claim to an NHL spot. In a healthy year for the Blue Jackets, Meyer barely sniffs the NHL. He had a a great opportunity to state his case as an NHL player– not that he did much with it while healthy – but the injury made sure that did not happen. It has to be a frustrating year considering he needed to build on his NHL debut that he earned last year, but this year seemed to be a step back for Meyer.
This is just an indifferent grade to be honest. He played 14 games and contributed almost nothing. Not much was asked or expected from Meyer, but in a year with such a depleted roster, this was Meyer's chance to make a statement and show he can be an effective bottom-six forward in the NHL. He did not do that.