The Columbus Blue Jackets have activated defensemen Seth Jones and Dean Kukan off Injured Reserve, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.
Jones, 25, missed the final 14 games of the 2019-20 regular season after suffering an ankle injury on February 11 vs. the Colorado Avalanche. The three-time NHL All-Star collected six goals and 24 assists for 30 points with 20 penalty minutes and a +10 plus/minus rating in 56 games this season, while leading the club and ranking seventh in the NHL in time on ice per game (25:17).
The Arlington, Texas native has tallied 60-198-258 and 168 penalty minutes in 524 career contests with the Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators. Selected with the fourth overall pick by Nashville in the 2013 NHL Draft, the 6-4, 209-pound blueliner has notched 45-150-195 and 114 penalty minutes in 325 games since joining the Blue Jackets during the 20015-16 campaign.
Kukan, 26, missed the final 29 outings of the regular season after suffering a knee injury on January 2 at the Boston Bruins. He recorded 1-4-5 with 12 penalty minutes, while averaging 15:58 of ice time in 33 games in 2019-20.
In 77 career NHL games with Columbus, he has tallied 1-13-14, 20 penalty minutes and a +8 plus/minus rating. The 6-2, 192-pound native of Volketswil, Switzerland signed with the Blue Jackets as a free agent on June 1, 2015. He registered 9-50-59 and 71 penalty minutes in 142 career American Hockey League games with the Lake Erie/Cleveland Monsters and helped the club capture the 2016 Calder Cup championship.
The NHL announced its Return to Play Plan for the 2019-20 season last month. Clubs are currently in Phase 2 of the plan, which involves small group workouts of no more than six players at a time at club facilities. Phase 3, which is training camps for clubs, is set to begin on July 10 provided that medical and safety conditions allow, and the parties have reached an overall agreement on resuming play. Phase 4 will feature the top 24 teams - 12 from each conference - competing in two hub cities. The Blue Jackets are set to meet the Toronto Maple Leafs in a best-of-five qualifying series with the winner advancing to the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.