Most players that don’t see NHL action by their mid-20s will likely never do so. Not Justin Danforth. He slowly worked his way through the ranks for the NCAA, ECHL, AHL, and even Europe before finally making the NHL at age 28. Not only did he finally make it, but he was an NHL regular by the time the season was over and earned himself a contract extension.
Danforth’s speed, tenacity, and willingness to play in the dirty areas proved valuable for the Blue Jackets this season. He scored 10 goals and played at a 25 point pace - pretty good for a fourth liner. There will be even more competition between him and a top 12 forward spot next season, but he’s already proven he’s up to the task. With 45 games under his belt, he has experience to back him up.
Games Played: 45
5v5 CF%: 51.61
5v5 FF%: 50.00
In March, Danforth signed a two-year, one-way $1.95 million contract extension. It’ll run through the 2023-2024 season.
On February 24th in Florida against the Panthers, Danforth scored a goal and had a fantastic all around game. At 5v5 in 9:12 of ice time, he had a CF% of 73.3%, xGF% of 87.7%, and gave up no high danger chances.
NHL Video Highlight - Brendan Gaunce scores against the Florida Panthers to make it 5-2. pic.twitter.com/UQeDy2Nekh— Blue Jackets Game Bot (@CBJGameBot) February 25, 2022
I don’t recall a low point for Danforth this season. He wasn’t expected to light the lamp on a regular basis and did a fine job in the role he was expected to play.
I think it’s fair to give Danforth a B for this season. He didn’t take the NHL by storm, but he also wasn’t expected to. He added value by playing hard, contributing defensively, and making it to double digits in goals. I think he has a good shot at making the team next year and playing a valuable role on the fourth line.
How would you grade Justin Danforth’s 2021-22 season?
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