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Who are these guys? Meet the Blue Jackets training camp roster

Facts you should know about all 59 players who are in Columbus

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

Blue Jackets training camp is here, and 59 players are in Columbus hoping to make the 23-man opening night roster. 

They range from Adam (Clendening) to Zac/Zach (Dalpe/Werenski), and though some obviously have a much better chance of making the team than others, they're all in town to work their butts off and show the Blue Jackets what they're all about. 

So, who are these guys? 

For fans ready to come to camp starting with Saturday morning's open practice, has put together a guide to the 59 players who are in Columbus. Yes, all of them. It's a quick bio in each case, of what you should know about each player as you get ready to watch the roster come together. 


77 Josh Anderson (25 years old as of CBJ opening night, 6-3, 224): One of the NHL's top power forwards, Anderson is one of the league's best at combining physical play with hits. In fact, he's one of three players to finish in the top 25 in hits last year who also scored 25 goals. The Ontario native potted a career-best 27 goals last year and, despite rehabbing a shoulder injury all summer, could score even more in 2019-20. 

39 Tyler Angle (19, 5-10, 168): A seventh-round draft pick of the Blue Jackets this past summer, Angle had a 20-24-44 line with Windsor of the OHL a season ago. The center boasts excellent speed and should return to the Spitfires this season for a fourth season.  

13 Cam Atkinson (30, 5-8, 179): One of the best players in Blue Jackets history, Atkinson is second in franchise history in goals and points. The winger is coming off a season in which he tied the Blue Jackets record with 41 goals and is expected to again be one of the NHL's top scorers. He's also under contract for the next six seasons and has played the most games with the Jackets of any current team member. 

81 Derek Barach (24, 5-8, 165): An undersized forward who can play center, Barach nonetheless had an impressive debut last season with AHL Cleveland after finishing his college career with 37 points in 38 games at Mercyhurst. The New York native had seven goals and 11 points in 15 games with the Monsters and just served as an assistant captain with the team's prospects in Traverse City. 

52 Emil Bemstrom (20, 5-11, 177): The Swedish forward is a rookie who could make the team after a standout season in his native country a year ago. Bemstrom led the SHL in scoring last year with 23 goals at age 19, which generally targets a player of his age and talents for stardom. He'll be one of the storylines of camp. 

57 Paul Bittner (22, 6-4, 208): The mustachioed Minnesotan has become a fan favorite in Cleveland, where the 2015 second-round pick had a breakout season a year ago. Bittner posted 31 points in 50 games a year ago and brings good size and some skill to the table. Despite the fact he has three full pro seasons under his belt, he could be a late bloomer. 

28 Oliver Bjorkstrand (24, 6-0, 177): A dominant pure goal scorer in juniors, Bjorkstrand has settled into a full-time role with the Blue Jackets that included career highs of 77 games and 23 goals a season ago. The Dane has a wicked shot and ended last season on fire; now he has his sights set on being one of the top-scoring wingers not just on the team but in the league. 

29 Zac Dalpe (29, 6-2, 194): The center from Ohio State has been an off-and-on NHL player throughout his career and has seemingly found his home in the Blue Jackets organization, with whom he signed a two-year, two-way deal last season. He played one game with the Jackets a year ago but had a career year with Cleveland, where his 33 goals tied for third in the AHL.  

56 Marko Dano (24, 5-11, 212): The Austrian was chosen by Columbus in the first round of the 2013 draft and looked like a piece to build around when he had 21 points in 35 games in 2014-15. But he was part of the Brandon Saad trade with Chicago the next summer, and since then he's struggled to find an NHL home. Signed to a two-way deal over the summer, he'll try to resurrect an NHL career that has included 103 games and 24 points since he left Columbus. 

17 Brandon Dubinsky (33, 6-2, 205): The oldest skater invited to camp - considering he's just 33, it sure is a young man's game these days, isn't it? - Dubinsky has seen his offensive numbers decrease over the past two seasons. But as he enters his eighth year with Columbus and 15th year in the NHL, Dubinsky hopes to again be a key piece of the puzzle. His defensive play and faceoff prowess earned him a role last season, one he'll try to increase with a good camp. 

18 Pierre-Luc Dubois (21, 6-3, 207): One of the best young centers in the NHL, the third overall pick in the 2016 draft enters the year as the team's No. 1 pivot. Dubois has played in all 82 games each of the past two years and scored 47 goals with 109 points. A physical presence, Dubois avoided a sophomore slump last year and is looking to do even better in his third season. 

64 Trey Fix-Wolansky (20, 5-6, 176): Wolansky lit up the WHL a season ago, totaling 37 goals and 102 points while earning conference MVP honors. His size will always be the drawback to his game, but Fix-Wolansky is a smart, tough, driven player with great hockey sense. He seems ticketed to begin the season with Cleveland but it would seem to be folly to bet against him making an impact at some point in his CBJ career.  

71 Nick Foligno (31, 6-0, 202): The captain needs no introduction to Columbus fans as his impact on and off the ice is pretty well known at this point. While it seems unlikely he'll ever reach 70 points again, he continues to be a well-rounded player who can score, defend and fight with equal aplomb. He could fill any role from first-line winger to depth center at points this season.  

36 Maxime Fortier (21, 5-10, 183): Signed after a high-scoring junior career that included 239 points in his final three seasons with Halifax of the QMJHL, Fortier was the victim of a numbers crunch in his first pro season this past season when he split the year between Cleveland and Jacksonville of the ECHL. He had more than a point per game in Jacksonville but just five in 20 games with Cleveland, though his showing in Traverse City shows the talent is still there. He'll need to make progress to be a key part of the Monsters lineup. 

19 Liam Foudy (19, 6-1, 182): Foudy is the team's most recent first-round pick, going No. 18 overall in 2018. The center has excellent wheels and led the OHL in shorthanded goals last year, and he doesn't seem to lack for confidence. Considered to have an outside chance to make the Jackets, Foudy will miss the start of camp with an injury and will have to return to London if he doesn't make the squad.  

54 Brett Gallant (30, 6-0, 192): The veteran forward has carved out a long AHL career, including the last four seasons with the Monsters. In those four seasons he has 12 points and 410 penalty minutes, so you can do the math on his game. Given the way the game is played in today's NHL, he'll likely be ticketed for a return to the shores of Lake Erie. 

24 Nathan Gerbe (32, 5-4, 176): The ageless Monsters captain has settled into a role as a leader at the AHL level and is still quite a scorer, as he was an AHL All-Star a year ago while posting a 10-22-32 line in 41 games before suffering an injury that cost him much of the second half. He has 396 NHL games under his belt.  

37 Markus Hannikainen (26, 6-1, 200): The Finn seems to be on the bubble when it comes to a regular role with the Jackets after spending the past four years with the franchise. He had a career-high 44 games and seven points last year but saw little playing time down the stretch. Hannikainen is a grinder with great wheels, but there will be fierce competition for fourth line minutes all season.

38 Boone Jenner (26, 6-2, 206): How is Boone still just 26 years old? It feels like the assistant captain has been a Jacket forever, but it's been six seasons. He's a crucial piece of the club, as the hard-working center seems set to be one of the pivots on the team when the season begins. Jenner has topped out at 30 goals in a season but had 16 with 38 points last year, and he's still hard to play against as an identity guy for the team. 

63 Nikita Korostelev (22, 6-1, 209): Signed last September by the Monsters after a strong finish to his OHL career, the Russian has some talent. He found it tough to find a full-time role in Cleveland last year but chipped in where he could with 13 points in 31 games while also spending time with Jacksonville of the ECHL. He's still young and will hope to take a step forward this year. 

15 Jakob Lilja (26, 6-0, 194): Signed to a one-year deal this offseason by the Blue Jackets, the Swedish forward is coming off his best season in his home country, where he played with Bemstrom and was top 10 in the league in assists (25) and points (37). He played in Traverse and appears to be a hard worker and responsible player, and he'll be in the mix at the bottom of the lineup. 

49 Ryan MacInnis (23, 6-3, 185): The son of Al MacInnis, Ryan was a third line center for the Monsters a season ago when he posted a 4-20-24 line in 71 games. The Blue Jackets traded a draft pick to get him last summer, and while MacInnis showed scoring touch at the OHL level (81 points in 59 games his final season), it hasn't translated yet to the AHL level, but the hope is there's more in him.  

23 Stefan Matteau (25, 6-2, 220): You just want to yell "Matteau! Matteau!" when you see this name, don't you? The son of Stephane Matteau, he was a first-round draft pick of New Jersey in 2012 thanks to an excellent junior career and his impressive size, but it just hasn't materialized into offense at the pro level. In 64 career NHL games, he has seven points and he spent all of last year in the AHL. He's ticketed for Cleveland after signing with the Monsters this offseason, and he'll be limited by a knee injury to start camp. 

22 Sonny Milano (23, 6-0, 195): If Milano doesn't make the Blue Jackets, he'll have to clear waivers to stay in the organization, so it'll be interesting to see how it goes. His talent is undisputed, but the 2014 first-round draft pick just hasn't been able to translate it to a full-time NHL gig. He might be one of the most intriguing players in camp, as he posted 24 points in 27 AHL games last year to show the scoring touch is still there.  

89 Bryan Moore (25, 5-11, 203): You might not have ever heard of him, but Moore is an interesting story. A native of North Carolina, he signed with the Monsters this offseason after setting a record last season with Toledo of the ECHL. That record? A franchise-best 246 penalty minutes. But he can score, too, as evidenced by his 18-24-42 line with the Fish.  

20 Riley Nash (30, 6-1, 190): Nash is coming off a trying first season with the Blue Jackets, as he went from 41 points his final season in Boston to just 12 in his debut with Columbus. But his game slowly but surely rounded into form last season, and if he gets off to a better start, Nash could be a solid bottom-six center who can kill penalties. He's also a favorite of teammates for his easygoing personality. 

14 Gustav Nyquist (30, 5-11, 184): The biggest prize reeled in during free agency by the Blue Jackets, Nyquist could be an excellent under the radar move. He's averaged 21 goals and 50 points throughout his eight-year NHL career and is coming off a career-best 22-38-60 season with Detroit and San Jose. He'll be a top-six winger and a key piece of the offense. 

50 Eric Robinson (24, 6-2, 201): The Princeton product brings size, speed and physicality. The question is just how much offensive upside is there, as he played in 13 games with Columbus last year with zero points. He was snakebitten, as he did have some good chances, and Robinson posted a 12-12-24 line in 45 games in Cleveland. He could be a fourth-line option. 

67 Justin Scott (24, 6-1, 198): The Ontario native is a Monsters veteran at this point, as the center has 32 goals and 65 points in three seasons with Cleveland. He'll likely return there, but he's a steady piece of the forward group up I-71.  

88 Kole Sherwood (22, 6-1, 199): Sherwood's first full pro season last year showed promise, as he overcame a slow start to post 16 goals with Cleveland and then became the first Columbus-area player to skate with the Blue Jackets when he was called up for two games in February. Like Robinson he also brings size, speed and competitiveness. He'll be intriguing to watch as he battles to make the team, and reports are he had a great offseason. 

83 Egor Sokolov (19, 6-4, 240): Well, you can't miss him. The Russian is simply huge, and his play is becoming harder to ignore. Sokolov, who is unsigned but came to Blue Jackets camp last year as well, is coming off a big Traverse City showing where he had four goals in four games. He has a good shot - he had 30 goals last year with Cape Breton of the QMJHL - and knows how to use his size. Sokolov is a bit of a project and will return to the Eagles this year, but he's a name to keep in mind. 

11 Kevin Stenlund (23, 6-4, 210): A Swede with size, Stenlund also made his CBJ debut a year ago when he played in four games. He didn't look out of place but didn't turn heads either, and Stenlund is coming off a 15-10-25 line in Cleveland. He'll be battling for an opening night roster spot along with a number of forwards.  

42 Alexandre Texier (20, 6-0, 187): He's one of the reasons the Blue Jackets are so excited about the season. He took a huge leap last year, going from Finland to Cleveland to Columbus and never missing a beat while scoring three goals in his first six games in union blue, including two in the first round of the playoffs. He has excellent offensive instincts, knows how to battle and added much-needed strength in the offseason. He's ticketed to make the team and could be a breakout candidate. 

48 Calvin Thurkauf (22, 6-2, 212): A junior standout in the WHL, the Swiss forward is coming off what was essentially a lost season in Cleveland where injury and a glut of forwards limited him to 26 games. He had two goals in that span, a dropoff after a 11-13-24 debut the year before in Cleveland. He's in need of a big year at the AHL level. 

74 Sam Vigneault (24, 6-5, 203): Columbus signed Vigneault in March of 2017 after he had an almost point-per-game season at Clarkson University. He has size but the center has found scoring tougher at the AHL level, where he has 13-29-42 over two seasons. Vigneault is signed to an AHL deal. 

10 Alexander Wennberg (25, 6-2, 196): Perhaps the biggest enigma on the team, Wennberg went from 59 points two seasons ago to 35 to just 25 last season. Included in that line is just two goals on the year. He's a responsible defensive player and has great vision, but Columbus is understandably curious where the offense has gone. Wennberg will start the year as one of the team's centers.  


53 Gabriel Carlsson (22, 6-5, 192): It wasn't that long ago that the Swede was thrown into the playoffs vs. Pittsburgh, and it seems hard to believe he's just 22. He's coming off a full season in Cleveland, with one game in Columbus, where he had 12 points in 67 games. Carlsson seems unlikely to become an offensive threat but thinks the game well, and he's young enough he could still put together an NHL career. 

6 Adam Clendening (26, 6-0, 194): Clendening came to Columbus as the quintessential journeyman, as he had played for six teams over the previous four seasons. The Jackets made it seven in five years, but this might have been his best campaign. Clendening was nearly a point-per-game defenseman in the AHL (4-33-37 in 45 games) and showed well in NHL playoff minutes. He'll battle to stick with the big club again, which he did last October when injuries helped him earn a spot on the roster. 

59 Ryan Collins (23, 6-5, 206): Blessed with excellent size, Collins might be under the picture of "stay at home defenseman" in the dictionary. The University of Minnesota product finally got his first pro goal last year, but he still has just a 3-17-20 line in 122 AHL games. A second-round pick in 2014, he'll likely be a big part of the Cleveland defense. 

44 Vladislav Gavrikov (23, 6-3, 215): He had little left to prove back in Russia, as Gavrikov is a steady member of the national team and was an almost laughable plus-48 last year with SKA St. Petersburg. He made his debut during the Boston series last year and will battle to join the CBJ blue line full-time this year. Never a big point scorer in the KHL, Gavrikov enters a crowded group of defensemen.  

4 Scott Harrington (26, 6-2, 207): Harrington finally got his chance last year and ran with it. After two seasons of essentially being the team's seventh defenseman, Harrington played a career high 73 games and had a 2-15-17 line last year. A max-effort guy, Harrington was rewarded with a three-year contract this past offseason.  

45 Eric Hjorth (18, 6-3, 192): Drafted in the fourth round in June because of his offensive potential along the blue line, Hjorth has displayed an excellent shot and an aggressive offensive nature with the team over the summer at development camp and in Traverse City. He'll return to Sarnia of the OHL at some point, but he certainly has upside. 

3 Seth Jones (25, 6-4, 210): Is this the year Jones finally wins the Norris Trophy? Sure, there's a heck of a lot of good competition, but the two-way standout has finished in the top 10 of the voting for two straight seasons and seems to be moving right into his prime. There's not much he can't do, and he'll be a No. 1 defenseman yet again for this team. 

84 Anton Karlsson (26, 6-2, 194): Signed this summer by Cleveland from his native Sweden, Karlsson displayed a solid feel for the game this past weekend in Traverse City. He had 13 points in 47 games last year in the SHL, so he's not a huge offensive threat, but one must also remember scoring isn't quite as high overseas. He'll be interesting to watch as he gets used to the North American game.  

46 Dean Kukan (26, 6-2, 186): Like Harrington, Kukan saw his patience pay off at the end of last season. After four seasons mostly playing for Cleveland or watching in Columbus, Kukan was given a role late last season and took off, showing excellent poise with the puck and improved defensive abilities. He was a second-pair defenseman during the playoffs because of injuries but didn't look overmatched. He has just a 0-9-9 line in 44 NHL regular season games, but it feels like there might be more offense in him.  

27 Ryan Murray (26, 6-1, 198): Murray was skating on the top pair and playing the best hockey of his career last year when he was injured in a February game vs. Tampa Bay and left the ice, never to return. He says he feels good coming into camp, and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft has become a fantastic player. With 0.50 points per game at even strength last year, he placed eighth among all NHL defenseman in that category among those to play at least 50 games, and that's without the benefit of power-play time. He's a top-flight defenseman when healthy. 

65 Markus Nutivaara (25, 6-1, 191): The Finn with the smooth breakout pass fought his game some last year, finishing with a 5-16-21 line in 80 games. But he was playing solid hockey by the end of the year and has shown the ability to seamlessly slide in with multiple defensive partners over the years while being a possession standout. He could be a second-pair defenseman, but then again, you can say that about a lot of guys on this unit. 

2 Andrew Peeke (21, 6-3, 205): The former Notre Dame captain has turned pro after three solid years with the Fighting Irish. A second-round pick in 2016, Peeke is a standout in his own zone; the main question seems to be how much offense is in his game. He had 24 points last year with ND and will likely get the chance to adjust to the pros in Cleveland this year, but he's viewed as a future NHLer at some point 

85 Michael Prapavessis (23, 6-2, 181): After a four-year stay at RPI, the defenseman earned a tryout contract with Columbus last camp and performed well enough to be signed to a two-year deal. Unfortunately, injuries claimed much of year one as he had a 1-5-6 line in 26 games. It'll be a big year for him in Cleveland. 

58 David Savard (28, 6-2, 227): The offensive defenseman that once was David Savard came springing back to life late last year as he went on a goal-scoring hot streak in the second half. Still, the bearded one is known mostly for his defensive work, as the man who is eighth all-time in games in franchise history has become an own-zone stalwart in his career. He'll be counted on as a rock again.  

79 Dillon Simpson (26, 6-2, 205): A mainstay on the Cleveland blue line a year ago, Simpson played 75 games for the Monsters with 17 points, which is right in line with his career numbers at the AHL level. He's played in just three NHL games and is likely to return to Cleveland again.  

33 Doyle Somerby (25, 6-6, 222): The Massachusetts native had eight goals last year with Cleveland and was plus-15, second only to Clendening among Monsters blueliners last year. Signed out of Boston University last season, offense has never really been his game, but he can certainly take away time and space in the defensive zone with his size.  

8 Zach Werenski (22, 6-2, 211): Another standout defenseman, Werenski has proved to be one of the most consistent point producers in the NHL among blueliners. He's played three NHL seasons and averaged 13-30-43 in that time. With a new contract and a full summer of work under his belt, he appears to be in line to even improve on those numbers this year. 


80 Matiss Kivlenieks (23, 6-2, 180): The Latvian signed out of the USHL two summers ago has the tools to be an NHL goalie, but his pro career hasn't exactly gone as planned. Two years ago, injuries to other goalies meant he was thrown to the wolves as a rookie at the AHL level; last year, his own injuries limited him to 14 AHL games and eight more at the ECHL level. Kivlenieks found his game at the lower level and should split time in the Monsters net.  

70 Joonas Korpisalo (25, 6-3, 188): Korpisalo enters his fifth season with the Blue Jackets but is in unfamiliar territory - up for the No. 1 job for the first time. In previous years, the starter's net belonged to Sergei Bobrovsky, but with the Russian gone, Korpisalo enters camp with the most - well, pretty much the only - NHL experience on the roster. He's reported to have had a good summer, and he's performed well when he gets into a rhythm, and the spot is there for the taking.  

90 Elvis Merzlikins (25, 6-3, 183): The affable but driven Latvian seemingly has the athleticism and attitude to be a very good NHL goalie, but he'll have to make the transition from international ice to the North American size. A standout in previous years in Switzerland, the 2014 third-round pick will be Korpisalo's No. 1 challenger for the starting job after signing a one-way deal with Columbus. Could he be a star? He has the personality, now he has to prove it with his play.

95 Hayden Stewart (25, 6-4, 208): Hey, man, want to get hit by some pucks for a few weeks? That's what Stewart is here to do, as he's signed with Knoxville of the SPHL this year. But he signed a pro tryout contract with Cleveland late last year, and the former Cornell netminder went 11-6-2 with a 2.73 goals-against average with the Ice Bears.  

60 Brad Thiessen (33, 6-0, 181): The oldest player invited to camp, Thiessen is part-player, part-mentor with the Monsters, with whom he's re-signed this offseason for a fifth year. He can still stop a puck - he had a 2.36 GAA and .913 save percentage in Cleveland last year - but also provides a veteran voice in the cage for the team's youngsers like Kivlenieks and … 

31 Veini Vehvilainen (22, 6-1, 183): Vehvilainen absolutely dominated the Finnish Liiga the past two seasons, earning goalie of the year honors both years and posting a 25-8-5 record, 1.58 GAA and .933 save percentage last year. He appears to be third on the organizational depth chart behind Korpisalo and Merzlikins, but he'll battle to make the Columbus roster this year. If not, Vehvilainen will man Cleveland's net as he gets used to the smaller rink. He's technically sound and unflappable, looking good in Traverse City in his debut last weekend.  

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