2016-2017 Blue Jackets Player Reviews: Cam Atkinson
Is Cam Atkinson great? In a word - almost.
Cam Atkinson, 2016/2017 Statistics
Games played: 82 (career high)
Goals: 35 (career high)
Assists: 27 (career high)
Points: 62 (career high)
Time on Ice: 18:05 (career high)
Penalty minutes: 22 (ties career high)
Corsi For (even strength): 48.8%
Columbus saw 12 players register double-digit goal totals this past season and had eight players surpass the 40 point plateau, but they were all paced by Cam Atkinson, who not only led the Jackets offensively in goals and points, but also set career bests in each of those categories, along with assists and +/-. (In fact, Cam had logged a net minus in each of the last three seasons before exploding for a +13 this year.)
Outside of leading the Blue Jackets, Atkinson was also among the most prolific scorers in the entire NHL this season, finishing the year tied with the eighth-most goals (along with Montreal's Max Pacioretty) and finished 33rd in points (sure, not a leader per se, but still not bad).
As was the case with several other Jackets players, Cam's abundant regular season success didn't see any post season dividend. He tallied three points, scoring only in one contest (a two-goal affair in the 5-4 overtime loss) and tallied his final point with an assist in the Game 5 loss.
Having said that, one of the most memorable moments of the very sad postseason was when Cam got a chance to do his thing - speed by a defender, crash the net, and put the biscuit in the oven.
Playoff negatives aside, there's reason for hope and further excitement for years to come for #13. In every year with the Jackets, Cam has seen an uptick in goals from the previous year and he's only regressed in an offensive category once, logging 18 assists in 2014/15 after registering 19 in the previous season.
Now that he's on the cusp of breaking through, the sky is the limit for Atkinson, assuming he doesn't drop off next year. But, if his career record is any indication, that shouldn't be an issue.