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Most Improved Player

Which Blue Jackets player has improved the most in 2021-2022?

NHL: JAN 26 Flames at Blue Jackets Photo by Graham Stokes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s been an up and down couple of seasons in Columbus and not just for the team as a whole. We’ve seen individuals rise and fall in terms of production and on-ice contributions. Some guys have improved over last season while others have improved since the beginning of this season. Regardless, this team has seen more improvement over the opposite. Let’s take a look at the candidates for most improved player.

Alexandre Texier

The Frenchman has been out of the lineup since January 26th, but was arguably the most consistent forward up to that point. Expectations were high for the youngster going into the 2020-2021 season, but individual struggles and team struggles led to a disappointing season. Texier played at a 25 point pace last season, but progressed to a 45 point pace this season. He’s developing into a possession player and a nasty forechecker. If he can stay healthy next season, we may see another step in the right direction from Texier.

Patrik Laine

Laine’s tough 2020-2021 campaign seems like ancient history now. He’s day-to-day with an injury at the moment, but currently sits at a point per game with 56 in 56 games. He’s never finished a season at a point per game and may do it this year. His improvement hasn’t just been in the offensive end, however. The expected stats don’t show much because the team has been defensively terrible as a whole, but his actual GF% went from 33% last season to 50% this season. He can be seen back checking and finishing checks. He’ll never be a defensive stalwart, but the effort is there.

Jack Roslovic

The Columbus native had a rough start to the season. Unlike the players above, Roslovic had a lot of success last year. He managed only 16 points in his first 40 games this season and looked unengaged and frustrated. Trade rumors swirled. Since then, however, he’s 13-12-25 in 36 games. He’s looked more comfortable as a top six center and looks more like last season’s Roslovic. If he can continue to take small steps towards playing a more consistent game and improving defensively, he could find himself being a long-term middle six center in Columbus.

Gus Nyquist

Nyquist didn’t play at all last season, so this is slightly unfair to him. He did get off to a very slow start this season, however. Since then, he’s been one of the most consistent forwards on the roster. He’s flirting with his career high of 54 points (he’ll need 7 points in 5 games to beat that mark) and, at 32 years old, still looks the part of a top six winger.

Andrew Peeke

Peeke is another player that had high expectations last season. He only ended up playing 11 games and had several rough games in that small sample size. The Notre Dame alumni has had a much better season in 2021-2022. He’s played 77 games so far and has spent a good chunk of those on the first line with Zack Werenski. He didn’t become the puck moving, scoring defenseman some of us thought he would, but he’s done a good job evolving into the player he needs to be in order to be successful in the NHL. He still has room to grow, but we are finally seeing progress.

Sean Kuraly

This is the only player on the list that wasn’t a Blue Jacket last season. Kuraly had only 9 points in 47 games with the Bruins last year. Many, including myself, were skeptical about the contract Kuraly was signed to over the summer. At least in the short-term, that contract looks a lot better. Kuraly has a career high in goals and points this season and has far exceed most expectations. He’s had to play up in the lineup due to injuries and poor organizational center depth, but he’s looking like a luxury as a fourth line center.


Poll

Who’s the most improved player in 2021-2022?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Texier
    (30 votes)
  • 25%
    Laine
    (57 votes)
  • 15%
    Roslovic
    (35 votes)
  • 2%
    Nyquist
    (6 votes)
  • 34%
    Peeke
    (76 votes)
  • 8%
    Kuraly
    (19 votes)
223 votes total Vote Now