The Blue Jackets rewarded forward Justin Danforth’s hard work with a one year, $1.1 million dollar contract extension on Wednesday.
After making the team out of training camp for the third consecutive season, perennial “roster bubble” forward Justin Danforth’s hard work paid off as he earned another one-year contract extension from the Blue Jackets.
A player who is really hard to root against, Danforth has shown up to every training camp ready to go to work, since being welcomed in by the Blue Jackets prior to the 2021-22 season. In two seasons with the club, he’s played in 51 career NHL games, scoring 12 goals and 17 points in that span; though unfortunately both seasons have been shortened due to injury.
When he’s in the lineup, Danforth brings plenty of speed to burn, as well as a hard working style on both sides of the puck. Though undersized, he’s underrated defensively, and can forecheck with the best of them – while bringing a nifty scoring touch. I would argue that his importance to the team is vastly underrated. They missed his energy and experience last season, big time.
As the season starts, he’s currently slated to play on the fourth line, alongside Sean Kuraly and Eric Robinson. But he’s a player that can slide up and down the lineup, playing whatever role you need from him on a nightly basis. This is exactly the kind of player you want to have around when you have a young team, because he’s inexpensive, works hard; and pushes the younger players to be better and more consistent.
The 30-year-old Danforth may have limited NHL experience, but he has spent time playing professional hockey all over the world. After a four year NCAA career with Sacred Heart University, Danforth went pro in 2017, splitting time between the ECHL and AHL for parts of two seasons. He then went overseas, playing two years in Finland (Liiga), then one in Russia’s KHL; before a standout performance with Team Canada at the World Championships earned him an NHL contract.
This one-year deal takes him through the 2024-25 NHL season. If he can stay healthy and get some games in, it’s a big time bargain for the Blue Jackets. I love what this guy brings.