Columbus Blue Jackets Rookie Update Nine Games In

The Columbus Blue Jackets have three rookies on the roster this season. How are they performing thus far?

The Columbus Blue Jackets are the youngest team in the NHL. That youth movement is led by guys like Zach Werenksi, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Josh Anderson. All are 23 or younger.

But the Jackets have three skaters in their first full season in the NHL playing big minutes and big roles. Sonny Milano, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Gabriel Carlsson are all top picks that are expected to produce top results.

Through nine games in the season we have had a chance to check out these rookies in most in game situations. While none of these guys had preseason Calder trophy chatter, one could be working his way into the conversation. Especially after the injury to Nolan Patrick this week. Lets catch up with the youngsters and their season thus far.

Gabriel Carlsson

So the season didn’t have the greatest start for Gabriel Carlsson. He started on the third pair with Ryan Murray and played fine. He didn’t blow me away with his play but for a 20-year-old, he played fine hockey on the third line.

He compiled one assist in four games and seven shots on goal. Not bad for a third pair rookie. His possession numbers are fine and he played well with Ryan Murray.

Murray deserves a ton of credit for Carlsson’s play in my opinion. He has played very well and cleans up plays that sometime get past Carlsson. It’s a great pairing all around.

A pairing though that is having a health issue right now as Carlsson is out currently. He suffered an upper body injury and was placed in IR on October 16th. He was eligible to come off IR on October 21st but remains sidelined.

Pierre-Luc Dubois

The top pick for the Columbus Blue Jackets in last years draft is here to stay. Friday will be the 10th game for the Quebec forward starting his first year in his contract clock.

Dubois has not put up gaudy numbers but he probably should have. He is playing really well and creating a plethora of scoring opportunities for his third and fourth line mates. Although he only has one goal and one assist so far, Dubois is putting up great possession and expected scoring numbers.

PLD’s corsi sits at 58.8% through nine games. He is driving possession on the lower lines. And also creating scoring opportunities with an expected goals for percentage of 66%. Both these numbers tell me that PLD is going to break out soon and put together a streak of scoring. He is playing too well not to.

Sonny Milano

The biggest suprise of the Jackets season has to be rookie Sonny Milano. This was a make or break camp for Milano. There was a concern that he wouldn’t even make the team.

Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OH – OCTOBER 21: Sonny Milano

Now look at Milano. He’s leading the team in goals with five and has tacked on an assist. He has scored two game winning goals and put 15 shots on goal.

Sonny has really proven himself defensively though and has continued to earn ice time. No longer a defensive liablity, Milano is earning 12:34 average ice time per game.

Milano has gone from a question mark to a dark horse Calder trophy candidate. Only Arizona rookie Clayton Keller has more goals than Milano.

All in all, a good start to the year for the Rookies for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Chances are we will see one or two more rookies bust into the line up this season or at least gain black ace status.