The Columbus Blue Jackets waited longer than most NHL teams, but have finally trimmed the roster down to 34 players.
The Columbus Blue Jackets finished up their fifth preseason game on Sunday and still had a massive roster of players in training camp. Today, the organization finally trimmed the squad down to just 34 players.
Most were sent back to Cleveland so the Monsters are starting to take form. 19 players were sent straight to Cleveland including Vitaly Abramov and Ryan MacInnis. The full list is below.
Vitaly Abramov, Brady Austin, Paul Bittner, Garret Cockerill, Ryan Collins, Dan DeSalvo, Maxime Fortier, Brett Gallant, Nikita Korostelev, Miles Koules, Ryan MacInnis, Justin Scott, Kole Sherwood, Blake Siebenaler, Doyle Somerby, Brad Thiessen, Calvin Thurkauf, Trent Vogelhuber and Justin Wade.
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Four players were put on waivers as the Jackets look to send them to Cleveland. Offseason signings Tommy Cross and Dillon Simpson as well as Zac Dalpe and Nathan Gerbe will look to clear waivers before filling out the rest of the Cleveland roster.
The Jackets also sent Joseph Raaymakers back to the OHL and released him from his tryout contract. He will be joined soon by the Columbus Blue Jackets first round pick from this year, Liam Foudy, on the London Knights. Jackets fans will want to keep an eye on the Knights as Billy Moskal, a Traverse City invitee, is also on the squad.
The Columbus Blue Jackets now have 34 players left and that number will be cut down again sometime later this week. The coaches have already made a pretty clear delineation between an “NHL” group and “AHL” group.
The team will have to make some tough decisions on who to keep and how many of each position the squad will have in Columbus. The team needs to decide whether or not they have seven or eight defenseman. An early injury (shocker) to Ryan Murray has made it pretty likely that the squad will start with eight defenseman on the roster taking a slot away from a forward.
These players sent down to Cleveland have a huge year ahead of them as they look to lead the Monsters out of the basement. A fresh start in a new conference with a totally revamped roster might be just what the Jackets AHL affiliate needs to turn things around in the 216.