He’s a true superstar in the NHL, a talented goal scorer…
The Blue Jackets are the only team in the NHL with a cannon in their arena, as has been the case since 2007. But in this instance, we’re not talking about the 1857 Howitzer that sits atop the concourse and fires off after each goal – we’re talking about the Finnish cannon that the team acquired from the Winnipeg Jets: Patrik Laine.
Originally the 2nd overall pick at the 2016 NHL Draft, Laine has become one of the premier snipers in the NHL – one of a rare breed that can actually score goals on NHL goaltenders from a distance, without screens or deflections.
We all know the story by now: Laine and Jack Roslovic were acquired from the Jets for disgruntled center Pierre-Luc Dubois and a third round pick. It’s safe to say the Jackets made out like bandits in this deal. Both Roslovic and Laine have become key contributors with the Jackets, while Dubois continues his antics in Winnipeg and looks to be on his way out there.
Since coming to Columbus, Laine has skated in 105 games, scoring 37 goals and 78 points in that time. He was on pace to challenge the franchise’s single season scoring record last year, falling short due to injuries. He’s a true superstar in the NHL, a talented goal scorer with a laid back personality, whose play is outmatched only by his flashy style and universally recognizable face.
Signed for four more years with the Blue Jackets, I think it’s only inevitable that he’ll set some records with the club and move well up the list of all-time leading scorers. Laine is one of the most talented players to ever wear a Blue Jacket jersey.
With the team already in Finland, it’s exciting to be able to take the time to appreciate some old names and faces – as well as two current Finnish players on the roster. Aside from the roster, we have a lot to thank Finland for, and should definitely mention Tampere’s own Jarmo Kekalainen, our own GM. While the team is struggling at the moment, he’s helped bring relevancy to our franchise and has made them more competitive in his time here.
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