You've likely heard of the trade the Blue Jackets made on June 23 that brought Artemi Panarin to Columbus. But the team had another transaction that day. 26-year-old Jordan Schroeder came to the Jackets from the Minnesota Wild, and the forward is looking to make a mark with his new team.
"The Jackets play such an aggressive style," Schroeder said. "Opportunity is here which is great and the team wants to play a fast-paced game. That's what I want to play. I want to play in your face with speed and skill. I thought it was a great fit off the get go."
The Blue Jackets weren't an unknown to Schroeder when he got the call that he was joining them. The Minnesota native had played in the New Year's Eve game between the Wild and the Jackets when the two teams were both riding long winning streaks. Of course, the Jackets won that game 4-2.
Schroeder also knows head coach John Tortorella when both player and coach were with the Vancouver Canucks organization.
Those things brought a degree of familiarity for Schroeder not just to the team identity but to how things would run.
Now Schroeder wants to show what he can do. In 144 career NHL games, he's scored 17 goals and 23 assists. He added 77-118-195 in 292 career AHL games.
Notably, during his last season with the Wild, Schroeder got his points (6-7-13, 37 GP) at a highly efficient rate. According to firstlinestats.com, Schroeder was sixth in points per 60 in five-on-five play (2.0) among all Minnesota skaters who played in 30-plus games.
"You have to try to take advantage of every minute you get out there, especially in the NHL," Schroeder said. "If you're playing on the fourth line, 8-9 minutes a night, and only in five-on-five situations, it can be very difficult to get points so you have to try and take advantage first period and get going. Otherwise you might not go the rest of the game."
Schroeder's abilities are based in his experience. He's matured into a person who stays positive, and stays loose. When it comes to hockey, he wants to try not to overthink it and have fun.
But he also wants to play with confidence and for this veteran, that includes playing with your head up to keep up with the speed of an NHL game. He says that allows you to seize the opportunities to produce offensively.
"I'm a guy who likes to play with pace," Schroeder said. "I think I can make the players around me better no matter who I'm playing with, on any line. You have to demand the puck out there because if you're just a shadow, or you don't want to be noticed out there, you're not going to touch the puck. You have to demand it, and want it, and skate with it."
Another asset Schroeder brings with him? While he's lined up on the wing as a pro, in college he played center and he feels comfortable at all three forward positions. With the NHL enforcing new faceoff rules this season, having someone adept at taking faceoffs in addition to the designated center can be an asset.
JACKETS USING PRESEASON TO ADJUST TO NEW RULES
Schroeder played his first preseason game as a Jacket Wednesday versus St. Louis. He took two faceoffs and won both.
"My game is more suited to the wing," Schroeder said. "Being a smaller guy, it can be physically demanding down low but if put in the situation where I have to play center, I can do it."
The 5-foot-9 player came to Columbus a few weeks before training camp to get to know his new teammates and organization. Coming from Minnesota, the Midwest already feels like home, and Schroeder is quick to remark on the "amazing turnout" at this year's fan celebration, the 5th Line Fest.
Now it's time for Schroeder to leave an impression on those that impressed him.
"I'm definitely confident right now," Schroeder said. "I'm just trying to continue to produce offensively, be responsible defensively. I'm looking forward to this opportunity."