The Columbus Blue Jackets sent Gabriel Carlsson to the Cleveland Monsters on Wednesday.
The Columbus Blue Jackets strengthened the undefeated Cleveland Monsters on Wednesday by sending defenseman Gabriel Carlsson to the AHL. Carlsson seemed like a favorite to make the NHL lineup as a regular going into training camp, but the former first round pick has yet to reach his potential as an NHL caliber defenseman.
It would be a bit excessive to judge the 21 year old for not being in the NHL yet, as defensemen tend to take longer to develop than forwards do. Last season was his first full year in North America, splitting time between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Cleveland Monsters.
He’s going to need time to adjust, but playing with a veteran defensemen in the AHL like Tommy Cross and players with a lot of talent like Michael Prapavessis will be great for his development.
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Carlsson will slot in as one of the most skilled defensemen on the Cleveland roster. There will be some criticism and scapegoating if the Monsters lose a game shortly after Carlsson joins the lineup, he’s a great addition to an already good AHL team.
It’s beneficial for both Columbus and Cleveland to have Carlsson getting some playing time rather than sitting in the press box after falling below Adam Clendening and Dean Kukan on the depth chart to start the season.
In case of an injury, Carlsson will likely be the first call up on the blue line followed by Michael Prapavessis however the Blue Jackets have enough depth to avoid getting to that point.
There’s no word yet on whether or not Carlsson will slot in against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this week, however it should be expected that the Swedish defenseman will play in at least one of the two games this week.
The defensive depth the organization has built is impressive and necessary in this time as the team awaits the return of Norris caliber defenseman, Seth Jones.