The Columbus Blue Jackets have added forward Dan Fritsche to the roster on emergency recall from the Syracuse Crunch, the club's American Hockey League affiliate, club President and General Manager Doug MacLean announced Monday. Fritsche will replace forward Nikolai Zherdev, who suffered a sprained knee in Saturday's 5-2 win over Chicago and will be sidelined indefinitely.
Zherdev, 21, is leading the Blue Jackets in goals and ranks second on the club in points with 27-27-54 and 50 penalty minutes in 73 games this season. The club's top pick, fourth overall, in the 2003 Entry Draft has registered 40-48-88 and 104 penalty minutes in 130 career games. He picked up 13-21-34 in 57 games as a rookie in 2003-04.
Fritsche, 20, has appeared in 51 games with Columbus this season and tallied four goals and five assists for nine points with 22 penalty minutes. He has also collected 3-4-7 with 12 penalty minutes and a +3 plus/minus rating in 18 AHL games with the Crunch.
Columbus' second pick, 46th overall, in the 2003 Entry Draft, Fritsche has registered 5-5-10 and 34 penalty minutes in 70 career NHL games. He spent most of the past four years playing in the Ontario Hockey League, where he picked up 71-84-155 and 143 penalty minutes in 135 games with Sarnia and London. He helped the Knights win the 2005 Memorial Cup championship and also represented Team USA at the 2004 and 2005 World Junior Championships, winning a gold medal in 2004.
The Blue Jackets return to action tonight vs. the Nashville Predators at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. Game time is set for 8 p.m. (ET) with live coverage on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship stations WBNS-AM (Sports Radio 1460 the Fan) and WWCD-FM (CD 101).