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Sedlak cleared after scary injury: 'I'm feeling pretty good'

After being struck in the head Mar. 22, Columbus center ready for offseason training.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

It was one of those scary moments that happen occasionally in a hockey game.

Seconds after lining up for a face-off in the third period against the Florida Panthers on Mar. 22 at Nationwide Arena, Blue Jackets forward Lukas Sedlak was pushed to the ice in the low slot area, leaving him in a vulnerable position for a slap shot he knew was coming from the point.

The shot was taken by Seth Jones, off a clean face-off win by Mark Letestu at the right dot, and the puck went screaming down the slot straight into the rear left part of Sedlak's head, under his helmet.

"It's always scary anytime you get hit by the puck anywhere in the head," said Sedlak, who sustained an upper-body injury and missed the rest of season. "It's a scary moment. I was maybe fortunate enough that I was facing the net and not facing the puck. That would be probably worse, but that's the game. As I was falling down, I kind of expected it, so I tried to turtle, but, uh … it didn't work out."

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French Connection: Texier continues taking strides toward NHL dream

Blue Jackets management impressed with 18-year old center's development.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

He's still got a list of things to improve, but French-born center Alexandre Texier is making good progress as a Blue Jackets prospect.

After completing his first season for KalPa in the Finnish league (Liiga), the 18-year old from Grenoble, France recently wrapped up a stint playing for France in the 2018 IIHF Men's World Championship - contributing three assists in seven games and ascending to the role of second-line center.

Tuesday, he took another step toward the NHL by signing a three-year, entry-level contract with the Blue Jackets, whose hockey-operations department has watched him closely this season.

"He's a good playmaker," said general manager Jarmo Kekalainen, who watched Texier in person at the world championship in Copenhagen, Denmark. "He has a good shot, he sees the ice, he's a creative offensive player, a good passer and will be a good center iceman, I think. He needs to work on face-offs, like any European centerman coming over to this side, but I'm sure that he recognizes that as well."

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#CBJ Social Roundup: May 22

Jackets celebrating medals at IIHF Worlds highlights CBJ social this week

by BlueJackets.com Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

It was a good showing for some Blue Jackets at the 2018 IIHF World Championships in Denmark. Dean Kukan earned a silver medal with Switzerland while Cam Atkinson, Sonny Milano and Team USA GM Bill Zito earned bronze medals.

READ MORE ON THE WORLDS MEDAL ROUND

This week's #CBJ social roundup:

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Columbus Blue Jackets sign Alexandre Texier to three-year ELC

Center was selected by the Blue Jackets in the second round, 45th overall, in the 2017 NHL Draft

by BlueJackets.com Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

COLUMBUS, OHIO --- The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed center Alexandre Texier to a three-year entry level contract, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.

Texier, 18, registered 13 goals and nine assists for 22 points with 38 penalty minutes and a +5 plus/minus rating, while averaging 13:23 of ice time in 53 games with KalPa of Finland's top professional league (Liiga) in 2017-18. In his first Liiga season, the club's youngest player finished third in goals, fourth-T in game-winning goals (two), fifth-T in power play goals (two), sixth in penalty minutes and ninth in points. He also added 1-1-2 and 25 penalty minutes in six playoff contests.

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WORLDS MEDAL ROUND: Sweden repeats, four from Jackets earn medals

Kukan earns silver with Switzerland; Zito, Atkinson and Milano win bronze with U.S.

by Julie Robenhymer / BlueJackets.com

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - After three weeks, 64 games and 384 goals, the 2018 IIHF Men's World Championship is over and Sweden is the repeat champion, defeating Switzerland and Blue Jackets defenseman Dean Kukan 3-2 in a shootout Sunday at Royal Arena.

Kukan earned a silver medal and is one of four from the Blue Jackets to earn medals in the tournament, joining forwards Cam Atkinson and Sonny Milano plus assistant general manager Bill Zito of the United States - which downed Canada 4-1 in the bronze-medal game.

"I thought we deserved a little better fate [in the semifinals against Sweden], but it is what it is and today we had a chance to play for a medal," said Atkinson, who finished with seven goals, four assists and 11 points in 10 games for the U.S. "Now, we're taking something home with us and it's huge for USA Hockey. "It's been a great experience for me, learning about a new culture and a new country, meeting new teammates and new coaches. It's been great. It's not the color [of medal] we wanted, but we found a way to get it done and bring home a medal."

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Bronze victory caps memorable U.S. run at world championship

Assembled by Blue Jackets assistant GM Bill Zito, Team USA earns medal with another win vs. Canada.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

This past winter, Jim Johannson had fun informing players they'd been chosen to represent the United States for the men's hockey team at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

Johannson, USA Hockey's executive director prior to his unexpected death Jan. 21, called every player on the team, which was comprised of non-NHL players per the league's decision to not participate. Each call Johansson made was emotional, which he loved.

The emotions were on the other end of the phone when Blue Jackets assistant general manager Bill Zito made those calls this spring, while putting together a U.S. roster for the 2018 IIHF Men's World Championship in Denmark.

"It was the other way around for me," joked Zito, who was chosen to be GM for the U.S. team, which won the bronze medal Sunday with a 4-1 victory against Canada in Copenhagen. "It was me calling the guys back a few times or the guy wouldn't even take my call."

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WORLDS SEMIFINALS: And then there was one ...

Switzerland's Kukan the lone Blue Jackets player with chance to win gold Sunday; Atkinson, Milano, Dubois and Murray to play for bronze.

by Julie Robenhymer / BlueJackets.com

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - The Blue Jackets had 11 players at the 2018 IIHF World Championship this month, but only one has a chance to win a gold medal.

It might not be your first guess, either.

Defenseman Dean Kukan, who helped Switzerland defeat Canada 3-2 on Saturday at Royal Arena, will now go for the gold against Sweden on Sunday in the championship game (2 p.m., NHL Network) - looking to help the Swiss pull off a third straight upset.

Kukan, playing in his fourth world championship, said it will be the biggest game of his career.

"There've been a couple big ones - Calder Cup finals and world junior quarterfinal games - but I would say this is the biggest one," said Kukan, who has a goal, two assists and three points in nine games. "It's huge for us to be in the finals as a smaller country. It wasn't a pretty win tonight, but we'll take it."

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WORLDS: Dubois still going strong for Canada, in pursuit of a medal

Rookie doing what he did this season, earning center role and more ice time.

by Julie Robenhymer BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

When the Blue Jackets were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Pierre-Luc Dubois had already played 88 games.

That was the most the 19-year old rookie had ever played in a season by a wide margin, after he'd already set a franchise rookie record by playing in all 82 regular-season games. Dubois was ready for the offseason, even talking about taking a few weeks off, but he had one exception.

That exception came to fruition when officials from Hockey Canada offered an invitation to represent his country at the 2018 IIHF Men's World Championship in Denmark.

"I already had it in my mind that if they asked, I was going to come," said Dubois, who's from Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec. "I'm really honored and happy to be here. There are so many good players and even just being around to practice with and against them, it makes you better. It's a really big challenge to play with them, but it's a lot of fun too."

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Blue Jackets to Participate In Kraft Hockeyville USA 2018 Preseason Game

Columbus, Buffalo Sabres to face off in Clinton, New York on Tuesday, September 25

by BlueJackets.com Staff BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Buffalo Sabres will face off in a preseason game in Clinton, New York, the Kraft Hockeyville™ USA 2018 winning community, on Tuesday, September 25, the clubs, National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players' Association announced tonight. 

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One tough 'cookie': OSU student aiming for gaming world title

Matt Gutkoski, aka 'Top Shelf Cookie' headed to Connecticut for regional round of new tournament.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Easter dinner was in full swing and the Gutkoskis, of Lewis Center, were enjoying the day.

Matt Gutkoski, however, had a slight issue. Time was ticking, there was an important hockey game he needed to play and the 20-year old Ohio State marketing student excused himself with an awkward explanation that included a video game in the basement.

Top Shelf Cookie full bio

"I was at Easter dinner and I was like, 'Hey guys, I'm really sorry, but I've got to leave right now,'" said Gutkoski, who became one of eight online competitors who qualified for the American regional in the 2018 NHL Gaming World Championships on Sunday at NBC Sports studio in Stamford, Conn. "It's hard to explain, because I was like, 'Hey, I'm going to play a video game.' It was like, 'Uh … OK.'"

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