Playing in his first full professional season, the 22-year-old Atkinson has 29 goals and 15 assists in 50 games. He is tied for the AHL lead in power-play goals (13) and is second in overall goals. He has appeared in five games with the Blue Jackets this season and scored his first NHL goal Oct. 10 vs. Vancouver.
Atkinson was the Blue Jackets' eighth pick, 157th overall, in the 2008 draft after he finished his career at Boston College.
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
TONIGHT ON NHL NETWORK
5:00 ET: NHL Live Powered by Constellation 7:00 ET: NHL Tonight