Columbus Blue Jackets: Update on Former Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 28: Mark Letestu
COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 28: Mark Letestu /

There are quite a few former Columbus Blue Jackets still making an impact at the NHL level. While they’ve moved on to another city, many of them are a very big part of Blue Jackets history.

The biggest name on this list will undoubtedly be Rick Nash, although there are a few other players who have reached “superstar” status at one point or another; none had as big of an impact during their Columbus Blue Jackets tenure. His superstar status quickly burned out with the New York Rangers though, and so far in eight games; his one goal is his only point.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets /

Columbus Blue Jackets

A player who the Blue Jackets acquired in return for Nash, Artem Anisimov had been tearing it up with Chicago the last two years alongside Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin; but with Panarin now in Columbus, Anisimov’s production has taken a massive hit. Through eight games, he has only one goal and one assist. Chicago’s Brandon Saad on the other hand is the complete opposite of Anisimov. Reunited with Jonathan Toews, Saad has scored a total of 6 goals in 8 games; add in his two assists and he is exactly a point per game player to this point.

Scott Hartnell is turning out to be a bargain for the Nashville Predators who likely hoped for him to replace James Neal’s production. So far to start the season, Hartnell has scored three goals and added an assist for four points in seven games. William Karlsson is a player the Columbus Blue Jackets had wished to keep, however the Vegas Golden Knights also wanted him; and got him in the expansion draft. So far the former Blue Jackets center’s only points are two assists in his six games, but he still has a lot of games ahead of him.

Hartnell’s teammate both in Columbus and Nashville, Ryan Johansen, is off to a fairly slow start, with four assists and zero goals in his seven games to this point. A player the Columbus Blue Jackets once hoped to develop into a superstar was Derick Brassard. After being traded to New York in the previously mentioned Nash trade, he’s found himself in Ottawa. His second season with the Senators is off to a hot start, with four goals and three assists in seven games.

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The Florida Panthers’ captain Derek MacKenzie had a long tenure with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and has continued to have the same production fans saw in Columbus. He puts up near 15 points a season on Florida’s fourth line, so even though he has yet to put up a point this season; he’ll likely end up near that number again.

A player who had a fairly similar role to MacKenzie was Mark Letestu. He had a bigger scoring touch than MacKenzie, however they were both great bottom six players for Columbus. Letestu averaged 30 points per season in his first two seasons with the Oilers, and is off to a decent start for his role this season. Through six games Letestu has two goals and zero assists.

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In terms of defensemen, Kris Russell has become well-known for his shot blocking skill league-wide. His offensive ability is still prevalent, although not as much as in the past. Through his first six games this season with the Oilers, he has three points. Marc Methot is in his first season with the Dallas Stars and has no points and four penalty minutes through seven games, which is to be expected from his style of play. Ron Hainsey is now with the Toronto Maple Leafs following a long period with the Jets/Thrashers, Hurricanes and eventually Penguins. He’s currently sitting on four assists in 7 games.