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2023-24 Player Review: Justin Danforth was everywhere

Dec 23, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Justin Danforth (17) celebrates his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

You would be hard-pressed to find a harder worker on the Blue Jackets than Justin Danforth. He’s relentless in all three zones and puts 110% effort into whatever he’s asked to do. This season, he was a big part of Vincent’s line blender.

As we progress through these reviews, I suspect we are going to see a trend, and it starts with Danforth. As PD mentioned in the Gaudreau review, Danforth spent over 261 minutes playing opposite Johnny Hockey. I understand that he’s one of the most trusted forwards on the team, but where does he rank among his peers in terms of offensive skill? How many forwards get passed up before landing at Danforth playing with Gaudreau?

Danforth could be a fourth-liner on a contending team—I think he’s that effective in a specific role. I also think he can play up in a pinch. But it stops there for me. If Danforth is in your top six, you either have a coaching problem or an injury problem, or you’re the San Jose Sharks.

2023-24 Stats

Games: 71
Goals: 10
Assists: 16
Points: 26
Plus/Minus: -10
PIM: 26
5v5 Corsi%: 47.28
5v5 Fenwick%: 47.85
Off Zone Start %: 44.79


Danforth is signed for the 2024-25 season at $1.1m. If he’s not extended, he will be a UFA in the summer of 2025.

High Point

A game-winning goal and an assist capped off a 3-1 win against the Flames on October 20th.

Low Point

On December 7th, Danforth was on the ice for 5 goals against, 4 of which were at 5v5, when the Islanders thrashed the Jackets 7-3.

Report Card


Danforth isn’t at fault for any deployment malpractice by the coaching staff. When deployed in a bottom six role, he’s effective and impactful. He gets bonus points for always giving his all and for generally being hard to play against.