They say actions speak louder than words – and John Davidson and Jarmo Kekalainen are hoping to see their offseason work translate into a big season on the ice in 2015-16.
In fact, the Blue Jackets were so active that they quickly became the focus of more than a few headlines, both locally and nationally, this summer.
A few of the highlights include Nick Foligno being named the sixth captain in franchise history, the selection of 18-year-old defenseman Zach Werenski at eighth overall in the 2015 NHL Draft and the acquisition of forward Brandon Saad in a blockbuster seven-player trade on the eve of free agency.
Alongside captain Foligno, 27, who is coming off of the best season of his eight-year NHL career, young forwards Cam Atkinson, Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Johansen are expected to continue their rise. Oh, and, don’t forget about NHL veteran Scott Hartnell, who had a 28-goal season of his own. He’ll be back adding depth and experience to the group.
There's a mix of youth and veterans on defense, and in goal, you may have heard of Sergei Bobrovsky. He’s projected to be on the path towards another stellar season in net and on the hunt for another Vezina Trophy.
According to Sportsnet's ranking of the most improved teams this offseason, the Blue Jackets check in at No. 7.
Here’s what they said:
"You bring in a player like Brandon Saad, who’s won two Cups already, it’s a big statement," says new captain Nick Foligno. Yes, the Saad deal was a shocker, and should give the Jackets enough of a boost to return to the dance. Another Cup winner, Gregory Campbell, was added to a young, exciting core that could still use some blueline help."
Read the entire rundown HERE.