The 25-year-old Russell was acquired by Columbus from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Mike Blunden on July 7, 2011. In his first season with the organization, he had two goals in 41 games with the Blue Jackets, while adding nine goals and six assists in 31 games with Springfield of the AHL.
He made his NHL debut on Jan. 7 at Los Angeles and tallied his first career point with a goal on Jan. 13 against Phoenix.
He seemed to thrive on his own and didn't really need any push from me. I certainly don't want to get in the way of the coaches. You see how that goes sometimes. I never really worried about it and just enjoyed the ride.
— David Ekblad on his son's [Aaron Ekblad] journey to the NHL, signing with the Florida Panthers