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Blue Jackets sign Hannikainen to one-year extension

Left wing signed through 2019-20 season

by BlueJackets.com Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets have re-signed left wing Markus Hannikainen to a one-year contract for the 2019-20 NHL season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.

Hannikainen, 26, recorded four goals and three assists for seven points with two penalty minutes in 44 games with the Blue Jackets in 2018-19, setting single-season career highs in goals, points and games played. He posted points in a career-high three-straight contests from Nov. 26-Dec. 1 (2-1-3) and played in a career-high 34-straight games from Oct. 25-Jan. 8.

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Battalion Breakdown: Alexander Wennberg

Center had rough year offensively but was defensive standout

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Battalion Breakdown is a closer look at the Blue Jackets' past season on a player-by-player basis. Today, BlueJackets.com continues the series by looking at Alexander Wennberg's season and how it impacted Columbus in the 2018-19 campaign. 

Alexander Wennberg 

Number: 10 

Age: 24 

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#CBJ Social Roundup: June 17

Dads, dogs and burritos.

by Kylie Sturgill @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

This week was for the dads, and the CBJ guys let us have a sneak peek of what Father's Day was like for them. Matt Duchene spent his Father's Day with his grandpa, dad, and his son, Beau. His dogs also made an appearance.

 

Instagram from @matt9duchene: Can't express how much today meant to me... so special to spend it with my dad, grandpa Duchene, and my boy Beau. Happy Father's Day! Love, the Duchene boys (and dogs)

 

Cam celebrated his first Father's Day this weekend with Declan.

 

Tweet from @CamAtkinson13: Happy Father���s Day to all the dads. Celebrating my first Father���s Day with Declan. Hoping to instill the same values my dad has taught me in my children. Declan is so lucky to have my father-in-law as his pops pic.twitter.com/1zOEEBZS05

 

That wasn't his only reason to celebrate this weekend. Cam's Carnival was a huge success. He even dunked Bill Zito and Jarmo. When it's your event, you can do what you want.

 

Tweet from @CamAtkinson13: I���ll stick to playing hockey. https://t.co/u9KE5Nieyn

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Q&A: Jarmo Kekalainen on what's next for the Blue Jackets

Columbus general manager discusses the draft, free agency and more

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Welcome to NHL draft week. 

Over the coming days, the work to reshape the Blue Jackets roster will take place in earnest. The draft begins Friday, to be followed by the team's annual development camp, the restricted free agent period, and then the opening of the NHL free agency window. 

And as it begins, very few teams have been discussed as much as the Columbus Blue Jackets. General manager Jarmo Kekalainen and his team knew going into the February trade deadline that stars Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky were unrestricted free agents-to-be, and conventional NHL wisdom said it would make sense to consider trading them before potentially seeing them leave over the summer. 

Instead, Kekalainen was aggressive at the deadline, acquiring four more potential UFAs in Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Adam McQuaid and Keith Kinkaid. 

Of course, it paid off with the franchise's first-ever postseason series win in the opening round vs. Tampa Bay, though the ultimate goal of a Stanley Cup wasn't in the cards as Columbus lost to Boston in the second round. The moves cemented Kekalainen's reputation as a general manager without fear when it comes to making the big move, but to many the plan came with great risk. 

As a result of a number of deals, Columbus at this moment goes into this week's draft boasting just two picks -- a third-rounder (81 overall) and a seventh-round choice (212 overall). With all six pending UFAs still unsigned, an air of uncertainty reigns over the Blue Jackets' offseason plans. 

So where does the team go from here? BlueJackets.com sat down with Kekalainen in his office last week to talk about the draft, free agency and other plans for next season. 

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Blue Jackets sign Jakob Lilja

Forward led Djurgardens IF (SHL) in assists and points in 2018-19

by BlueJackets.com Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed left wing Jakob Lilja to a one-year entry level contract, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.

Lilja, 25, registered 12 goals and 25 assists for 37 points with 18 penalty minutes and a +3 plus/minus rating, while averaging 18:03 of ice time in 52 games with Djurgardens IF in the Swedish Hockey League in 2018-19. He set career highs in assists and points, leading the club and ranking eighth-T in the league in assists and 10th-T in points. He added 3-5-8 in 19 playoff outings to help the team advance to the SHL final.

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Blue Jackets' annual development camp to be held from June 25-28

Sixth annual 3-on-3 prospects tournament to conclude event

by BlueJackets.com Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets will conduct their annual development camp for prospects at the OhioHealth Ice Haus, the club's official practice facility at Nationwide Arena, from Tuesday, June 25 through Friday, June 28, the team announced today. Players will arrive and undergo medicals and off-ice testing on Monday, June 24.

This year's camp is highlighted by the sixth annual 3-on-3 Tournament, which will be held on Friday, June 28 beginning at 4:30 p.m. All on-ice practice sessions are free and open to the public.

2019 DEVELOPMENT CAMP: News, notes, and more

A complete schedule of on-ice sessions can be found below.

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Battalion Breakdown: Markus Hannikainen

Winger set a career high in games played and goals in 2018-19

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Battalion Breakdown is a closer look at the Blue Jackets' past season on a player-by-player basis. Today, BlueJackets.com continues the series by looking at Markus Hannikainen's season and how it impacted Columbus in the 2018-19 campaign. 

Markus Hannikainen 

Number: 37 

Age: 26 

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Bemstrom eyes role with Blue Jackets for upcoming campaign

After leading Sweden's top league in goals, prospect sees opportunity with Columbus

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

When asked if he plans to spend his 2019-20 season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Emil Bemstrom had a quick answer. 

"Yeah, that's my goal," said Bemstrom, a Swedish forward who turned 20 years old June 1. 

When asked if he thinks that's an attainable goal, he gave an even quicker reply. 

"Yes," he said. 

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Rick Nash returns 'home' to join Blue Jackets front office

Former captain has been learning the ropes, now starts role as special assistant to GM

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

For Rick Nash, the urge to stay involved in hockey was never far away. 

Luckily, the opportunity to do so wasn't, either. 

After Nash chose to retire this past season, he returned to his residence in Columbus, where he was quickly welcomed back into the fold by Blue Jackets management. 

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Blue Jackets announce promotions within hockey operations department

Former captain Rick Nash has been named special assistant to the general manager

by BlueJackets.com Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager and Alternate Governor Jarmo Kekalainen today announced several promotions within the club's hockey operations department. Bill Zito has been promoted to senior vice president of hockey operations, associate general manager and alternate governor, while Basil McRae and Josh Flynn have been promoted to assistant general manager and Chris Clark to director of player personnel. In addition, former captain Rick Nash has been named special assistant to the general manager.

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