Predicting the Columbus Blue Jackets 2018-2019 Season MVP

SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 4: Artemi Panarin
SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 4: Artemi Panarin /

Who will end up being the Columbus Blue Jackets MVP in the 2018-2019 season?

Artemi Panarin was undoubtedly the Columbus Blue Jackets MVP for the 2017-2018 season. He set a franchise record for points with 82 and was a constant scoring threat that the Jackets haven’t had since Rick Nash.

Will Panarin repeat his performance this year and be the most valuable Jacket? If he stays the whole season, it’s possible. But look for the MVP to come from the opposite wing on the top line this year.

Cam Atkinson is primed to have his best season yet after a down-and-up season last year. And Cam’s best season would be MVP worthy.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets /

Columbus Blue Jackets

Atkinson is coming off a season where a slow start and injury whipped out the first half of the season. After coming off of the injured reserve though, Cam was one of the best players in the NHL to close out 2018. He averaged a point per game in his final 33 games and tacked on another four points in six playoff games.

The impressive scoring continued at the World Championships for Team USA as Cam was second in scoring only behind Patrick Kane‘s tournament leading performance.

Cam finished the season on fire. He should be fresh this year after only playing 65 games last year, the fewest in his career. Cam has always come into the season physically prepared and, as a leader on this team, he won’t repeat the slow start to the 2018-2019 season.

Power Play Fix

Another reason Cam will be the Columbus Blue Jackets MVP this year is that he will be a major reason why the power play isn’t miserably bad. When Cam was producing the power play is almost next to impossible to stop with scoring threats like Panarin and Seth Jones also on the ice.

Cam should double his scoring on the man advantage next season from 10 points in 17-18 to at least 20 this year.

Playing alongside Panarin and Pierre-Luc Dubois on the top line will help Cam put up major numbers that will break his career highs this year. They have had time to build chemistry and there should be no doubt of the trio’s role to start the year.

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Atkinson’s career highs came two years ago when he potted 35 goals and added 27 helpers. Both of those marks are going down this year. Cam will be one of a handful of players to break the 40 goal mark next year and he will add 30 more assist. A 70 point year for Cam is well within reach and I see him taking over as the top scoring threat on this team if Panarin leaves.

The lifetime Jacket will end this year as the team’s Most Valuable Player.