Columbus Blue Jackets: The Biggest Loser of the Season

Sonny Milano fell out of the Columbus Blue Jackets lineup early in the season.

Sonny Milano was the Columbus Blue Jackets first round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, and since then many have expected him to make an impact at the NHL level fairly quickly. With him falling out of the lineup due to under-performance early in the season, it seems unlikely he’ll ever get in favor with John Tortorella despite AHL success.

He’s currently at a point per game pace, with with other players seemingly passing him on the depth chart. Also, with players of a similar, non-physical style like Anthony Duclair struggling to make the lineup, it seems like there’s little chance for success for Milano in Columbus.

He seems stuck in the fringe NHL range, he’s too good for the AHL but at the same time he doesn’t seem quite good enough for the NHL at this point. The disappointing but hopeful thing for Blue Jackets fans is Milano’s success in the AHL. It’s disappointing because he should theoretically be in the NHL, but it’s hopeful because he gives the Blue Jackets another asset to keep in the cupboard going forward.

Through 12 games with the Cleveland Monsters, Milano has 14 points putting him well above the point per game pace. A scary note though, is that despite being above a point per game he’s a minus 10. While plus/minus is a flawed stat, it does have a small bit of value when it comes to a point per game player.

Milano’s two way game needs to develop further as he’s not good enough offensively to make it in the NHL on offensive production alone. Almost all players on the Blue Jackets offer something else, whether it be physicality or defense which is something that seemingly is lacking on Milano’s part.

Next: Hannikainen Off to Strong Start

Milano’s hopes to be a regular at the NHL level, especially with the Blue Jackets is shrinking every year. If he’s not there next season, then it may be time to move on.