Like his Blue Jackets teammates, Cam Atkinson wasn't ready for the season to end.
After missing more than a month's worth of games because of two injury issues, not to mention a frustrating start to the season statistically, Atkinson was ready for more after Columbus was eliminated by the Washington Capitals in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
He was invited to join the U.S. contingent in Denmark for the 2018 IIHF Men's World Championship and didn't need much prodding from Bill Zito, the Blue Jackets' assistant general manager who constructed Team USA's roster as its general manager for the tournament.
It turned out to be a great decision by Atkinson, who's had a new jersey number in Denmark (89), but similar results to the final two-plus months of the season. After racking up 33 points (18 goals, 15 assists) in the final 33 games of the regular season, and adding four more in the playoffs (two goals, two assists), Atkinson hasn't missed a beat.
Heading into a quarterfinal matchup against the Czech Republic on Thursday in Herning, he's tied for sixth in overall scoring with 10 points (six goals, four assists) and is playing on the top line with Chicago Blackhawks star right wing Patrick Kane, the U.S. captain.
Following Team USA's loss to Finland on Tuesday, BlueJackets.com caught up with Atkinson by phone for an interview. Here's how it went: