Battalion Breakdown is a closer look at the Blue Jackets' past season on a player-by-player basis. Today, BlueJackets.com continues the series by looking at Lukas Sedlak's season and how it impacted Columbus in the 2018-19 campaign.
Birth date: Feb. 25, 1993
Height/Weight: 6-0, 205
Stats (Games, G-A-P, point shares): 47 GP, 4-2-6, 0.1 PS
Contract: Restricted free agent; signed Friday with Traktor Chelyabinsk of KHL
A sixth-round pick of the Blue Jackets in 2011, Sedlak wasn't on the radar of most Blue Jackets fans until the spring of 2016, when he was one of the key pieces for a Lake Erie Monsters team that won the Calder Cup to capture the AHL championship.
In his third season with the Jackets' top affiliate, Sedlak had a career-high 14 goals that season in Cleveland then came into his own in the postseason. In 17 playoff games, Sedlak had a 9-7-16 line and was plus-16, a remarkable performance considering he had just 18 points in 54 regular-season games.
He then had a solid season with the Jackets in 2017-18 as the team won 50 games. Playing mostly as an energetic fourth-line forward, Sedlak also showed a knack for chipping in some offense with a 7-6-13 line in 62 games. He was also plus-10, a third straight pro season in which his rating was positive and in double digits.
Entering the season: Sedlak began the 2018-19 season in his customary spot as a grinding forward, though one with a particularly powerful skating stride and a nose for getting to the front of the net. His hope was to have a bit of a bounce-back season, as he played in 53 games a year ago and saw his scoring total drop (he had a 4-4-8 line) and his plus-minus fall to minus-3.
What happened: Sedlak was his usual self but still was unable to really turn his knack for being on the ice for scoring chances into actual goal production. He finished the year with four goals and two assists for just six points in 47 games, and was minus-5.
Eventually, there just wasn't a spot for him with the team both bringing in forward depth in the persons of Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel, as well as the emergence of Eric Robinson on the fourth line for a stretch. That left the team with a glut of forwards, and the native of the Czech Republic played in just four games after the trade deadline. He also didn't dress for a single postseason game, and with a potential roster squeeze looming, he opted to sign in the KHL late last week.
Ever a grinder, Sedlak scored most of his goals as a Blue Jacket from right in front of the net, but the one he tallied in a 7-5 win over the New York Rangers on Jan. 13 was a thing of beauty. Sedlak got open in front and buried a one-timer from below the line from Oliver Bjorkstrand, a blast that gave the Blue Jackets a 4-2 lead in a key January game.
Video: NYR@CBJ: Bjorkstrand finishes Sedlak's feed in deep
By the Numbers
53.08: Many of the advanced numbers show Sedlak to be strong when it comes to possession, including an expected goals percentage of 53.08 at 5-on-5 when he was on the ice per Natural Stat Trick. The Jackets also had 53.15 percent of shots on goal when he was on the ice at 5-on-5 and 56.20 percent of the high-danger chances for the team.
3: Sedlak leaves the Jackets as just one of three players in franchise history to take one penalty shot and convert it. Sedlak scored vs. New Jersey's Cory Schneider in a game March 19, 2017, one of two penalty shot goals in the game for the Jackets. Jakub Voracek and Alexander Wennberg are the other Jackets to be 1-0 on penalty shots in their careers.
9:00: Sedlak played just 9:00 per game when he did suit up, a career low with the CBJ. He also won a career-worst 49.4 percent of his faceoffs this season.