The Columbus Blue Jackets have assigned defenseman Kris Russell to the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League, club President and General Manager Doug MacLean announced today. The move puts Columbus' current roster at 28 players.
Russell, 19, was Columbus' third pick, 67th overall, at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He appeared in three preseason games with the Blue Jackets, collecting four penalty minutes and plus/minus rating of +4. In 182 career WHL games with Medicine Hat, he has registered 44-83-127 and 85 penalty minutes. In 2005-06, he tallied 14-33-47 and 18 penalty minutes in 55 games and won the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy as the WHL's Defenseman of the Year.
The Blue Jackets (3-3-0) close out their preseason schedule on Friday at the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina against the defending Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes. Game time is 7 p.m. The game will be televised live on FSN Ohio with Jeff Rimer (play-by-play) and Danny Gare (color analyst) calling the action.
The Blue Jackets begin their sixth NHL season on Friday, October 6 against the Vancouver Canucks. Game time at Nationwide Arena is 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to arrive at the arena and be in their seats by 6:45 p.m. for the start of the pre-game festivities.