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Jackets' trade for MacInnis adds more center depth

Son of former NHL star adds size, strength down the middle for Columbus.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

One area the Blue Jackets have bolstered this offseason is down the middle of the ice.

 

Quality depth at center became an issue last season, in the NHL and with the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League, so Columbus has made a couple additions this summer.

 

After signing veteran center Riley Nash, 29, on the opening day of free agency (July 1), the Jackets also completed a trade Wednesday to bring in another center - acquiring 22-year old Ryan MacInnis from the Arizona Coyotes in a trade for 23-year old defenseman Jacob Graves plus a conditional sixth-round pick.

 

"I don't know if it was so much targeting [MacInnis], but he's somebody we were aware of, and this is really just a trade of a couple guys who could use a fresh start," said Blue Jackets assistant general manager Bill Zito, the Monsters' GM. "[MacInnis] is a high pick and we think a lot of him. We're glad we got him."

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PROSPECT PULSE: Foudy invited to summer showcase in Kamloops

Bemstrom to play for Sweden at showcase; Davidsson impresses; Meyer back to full strength

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Just when it looked like Liam Foudy's whirlwind offseason would get a pause, things have gone right back to top speed for the Blue Jackets' first pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

 

Foudy, a speedy center selected by Columbus with the 18th overall pick, was added to Canada's roster for the 2018 Sport Chek World Junior Summer Showcase in Kamloops, B.C. - which features teams from Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States.

 

After attending the Blue Jackets' development camp in Columbus following the draft, Foudy returned to Scarborough, Ont. He didn't know whether he'd be invited to attend the showcase, which gives players a chance to make a good impression in their bids to play in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship - which will be held the week after Christmas in Vancouver and Victoria, B.C.

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Columbus Blue Jackets acquire Ryan MacInnis from Arizona

Center acquired in exchange for defenseman Jacob Graves and a conditional sixth round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft

by BlueJackets.com Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired center Ryan MacInnis from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for defenseman Jacob Graves and a conditional sixth round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. If MacInnis appears in 20 NHL regular season games with Columbus during the 2018-19 season, the Coyotes will receive a fifth round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft instead of a sixth round pick in 2019.

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BATTALION BREAKDOWN: Brandon Dubinsky

Veteran center looking to rebound after turbulent season filled with challenges.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Battalion Breakdown is a closer look at the Blue Jackets' past season from a numerical standpoint, starting with the highest jersey number and counting down to the lowest. Today, BlueJackets.com examines Brandon Dubinsky's season and how it impacted Columbus in the 2017-18 campaign.

Brandon Dubinsky
Number: 17
Age: 32
Birthdate: April 29, 1986
Height/Weight: 6-2, 205
Position: Forward/center
Nickname: "Dubi"

In short, it was the toughest season of Brandon Dubinsky's career.

After hitting multiple speedbumps from start to finish, the Jackets' veteran went into this offseason vowing to make a big rebound in the season ahead.

He got off to a slow start, had the alternate captain's 'A' taken off his jersey by coach John Tortorella, sustained a fractured eye socket during a fight in December and then struggled to make an impact after returning from the extended time off to heal.

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#CBJ Social Roundup: July 17

What a week to be in France.

by Rachel Bules / bluejackets.com

It's a transformative time period for the Blue Jackets right now as coaches and players make decisions and strategize for the upcoming season. Good news out of Columbus this week as forward Oliver Bjorkstrand and defenseman Ryan Murray re-sign with the Blue Jackets.

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BATTALION BREAKDOWN: Pierre-Luc Dubois

Rookie center proved why Blue Jackets took him third overall in 2016 draft.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Battalion Breakdown is a closer look at the Blue Jackets' past season from a numerical standpoint, starting with the highest jersey number and counting down to the lowest. Today, BlueJackets.com examines Pierre-Luc Dubois' season and how it impacted Columbus in the 2017-18 campaign.

Pierre-Luc Dubois

Number: 18

Age: 20

Birthdate: June 24, 1998

Height/Weight: 6-3, 207

Position: Center

Nickname: "P-L", "PLD"

What started out a little rocky turned into a season of smooth sailing for Pierre-Luc Dubois, who earned the Blue Jackets' top center role in his first NHL season.

Dubois, selected third overall by Columbus in the 2016 NHL Draft, rewarded general manager Jarmo Kekalainen for making that pick and stunning the hockey world by passing on higher-ranked Finnish forward Jesse Puljujarvi.

After spending the season following his draft back in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Dubois earned a spot with Columbus to start last season. It took about a month, and a 1-on-1 chat with coach John Tortorella, but the 6-foot-3, 207-pound teenager eventually found his niche.

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New contract shows Jackets believe in Bjorkstrand's 'dynamic' potential

After 40-point season, he and Columbus GM think even better years are ahead.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

As far as first full NHL seasons go, last season was a success for Oliver Bjorkstrand.

The 23-year old forward played all 82 games, had 40 points on 11 goals and 29 assists, and added three points (one goal, two assists) in the Blue Jackets' first-round playoff series against the Washington Capitals. Bjorkstrand also finished fifth on the team in scoring, behind only Cam Atkinson (46 points), Pierre-Luc Dubois (48 points), Seth Jones (57 points) and Artemi Panarin (82 points).

Still, there's potential for more, which is something the Blue Jackets are hoping to get after re-signing Bjorkstrand - a restricted free agent (RFA) - to a three-year contract Sunday worth $7.5 million ($2.5 million average annual value). 

"I was happy with 40 points, but I'd like to score more goals," Bjorkstrand told BlueJackets.com. "Growing up, I've always been a bit of a goal-scorer. I'd obviously like to increase those numbers and score some more goals, and that's something I really want to get better at next season."

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Blue Jackets sign forward Oliver Bjorkstrand to three-year contract

Bjorkstrand tallied 11 goals and 29 assists for 40 points in 2017-18

by BlueJackets.com Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed restricted free agent forward Oliver Bjorkstrand to a three-year contract through the 2020-21 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.

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Blue Jackets leaning on Murray to stay healthy, continue two-way prowess

Defenseman now one of the most experienced on Columbus blue line.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Ryan Murray's NHL career has been hampered by multiple injuries, but that isn't stopping the Blue Jackets from counting on the 24-year old, two-way defenseman as a significant piece of the puzzle next season.

After signing a qualifying offer on Saturday as a restricted free agent (RFA), a one-year deal worth $2.825 million, Murray will head into training camp expected to play on the second defense pairing, most likely skating with either David Savard or Markus Nutivaara.

"It's been a good summer," said Murray, who had one goal, 11 assists and 12 points in 44 games last season. "I feel great and I'm getting ready for the upcoming season. We have a good team and I'm looking forward to helping us build off of last year."

He's not the only one. The Blue Jackets are, too, after veteran defensemen Jack Johnson and Ian Cole found new teams via free agency.

"Ryan will be a huge part of the defense now, after losing the veterans [who] departed, and he is one of the reasons we felt we could let them go," general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "We need him to have a healthy and great season for us and we think that he will."

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Blue Jackets Defenseman Ryan Murray Accepts Club Qualifying Offer

Murray signs one-year deal for the 2018-19 season

by BlueJackets.com Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today that restricted free agent defenseman Ryan Murray has accepted the club's qualifying offer, a one-year contract with a salary of $2.825 million for the 2018-19 National Hockey League season.

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