Naming the Columbus Blue Jacket All-Decade Team

By Chris Pennington on January 15, 2020 at 1:45 pm
Artemi Panarin and Seth Jones
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

We saw a lot of different players put on a Columbus Blue Jacket sweater in the 2010s.

Some were hilariously awful. Some were unfathomably brilliant. Some had short tenures that should've been longer. Some had long tenures that should've been shorter.

The bottom line - it's about time we figure out who were the cream of the crop. 

A quick reminder of how all-decade rankings work (or how mine will work, at least) before we begin: this is not about the best players to put on a Blue Jacket sweater. This is about which players had the biggest and best years in contribution to Columbus during the years of 2010 until 2020.

Meaning, guys like Marian Gaborik, Jeff Carter and Matt Duchene, though incredible individual players who were on the team this past decade, had little on the Blue Jackets when viewed through the scope of ten years, so they will not be making the cut. Heck, players like Nikita Nikitan or Mark Letestu might be more deserving than those three.

I'm also not going to be a stickler on the left and right side for wingers and defensemen. Some great players will be left out in both scenarios if we don't let those be fluid.

The two biggest factors for earning a good ranking in my book: longevity, and/or doing much with the time you had. Therefore, some guys who had a little amount of time with the team but had overwhelming numbers will make the list, and guys who played nearly all ten seasons and had consistent, steady numbers will also make it. 

Get it? Got it. Good. Here we go.



W: Artemi Panarin (160 Games played, 55 Goals, 114 Assists, 169 Points, 1.06 Points per game)

The man. The myth. The legend. And gone too soon. Artemi Panarin is the best skater to ever dress in a Columbus Blue Jacket sweater -  and though it was for two seasons, his mark was made clear. Panarin had the two best individual seasons in franchise history and led the club to their first-ever playoff series win. RIP, Bread Man.

C: Brandon Dubinsky (430 GP, 72 G, 153 A, 225 P, 0.52 PPG)

The days of Brandon Dubinsky's relevance have been over for a couple of years now, but man, was he a fun Blue Jacket to watch. Dubinsky came to Columbus from the New York Rangers in the blockbuster Rick Nash trade, and his love for his new city was made known immediately. He grinded, he dangled, he led the team out of the rebuild and was a consistent top-six forward for nearly five seasons.

W: Cam Atkinson (562 GP, 195 G, 168 A, 363 P, 0.65 PPG)

Cam Atkinson was the most consistent goal-scorer of this past decade for the Blue Jackets. Atkinson, an original sixth-round pick the club, found his role within a few years with the club and has since made multiple all-star teams and tied the record for more goals in a season for the franchise. His six-straight seasons of 20-plus goals are only topped by Rick Nash. 


W: Rick Nash (191 GP, 76 G, 79 A, 155 P, 0.81 PPG)

The hero the Blue Jackets deserved, but not the one it needed at the time. Can you imagine if prime Rick Nash was on the present-day Blue Jackets instead of having to drag the hot pile of garbage that was the early 2000s team? Nash has the franchise record for nearly everything, and though most of his damage was done in the previous decade to the last, he still is in the top-ten in nearly every statistical category on the team for skaters from the two full seasons he played in the 2010s.

C: Pierre-Luc Dubois (204 GP, 60 G, 76 A, 136 P, 0.67 PPG)

The long-awaited first-line center, Pierre-Luc Dubois. After the departure of Ryan Johansen, it way anyone's guess who would be filling the middle of the ice on the top line for Columbus, and for a few years there, things were looking bleak. Dubois was drafted in the shadow of Auston Matthews and Patrick Laine, and put his head down and went to work. He's the fastest Blue Jacket ever to reach 100 points and has been the center the club long awaited for. At the start of this season when nearly everyone counted the Blue Jackets out due to free agency departures, Dubois kept the ship afloat.

W: Nick Foligno (527 GP, 129 G, 173 A, 302 P, 0.57 PPG)

Oh captain, our captain. Nick Foligno is just the definition of a stapled player on the Blue Jacket roster, and he hasn't been a scrub. Foligno is an all-star captain, a 70-point season getter, and an incredible leader for the club, on and off the ice. When the dust clears from his breakout seasons and his mediocre ones - Foligno is a solid middle-six forward who will give you 35-40 points and motivate the heck out of you.


W: Matt Calvert (416 GP, 72 G, 77 A, 149 P, 0.36 PPG)

Perhaps the most clutch playoff performer title in Blue Jacket history belongs to a third-line grinder named Matt Calvert. He wasn't the most talented, he wasn't the biggest, but he gave Columbus his heart night in and night out. He's in the top ten on the club for forwards in points in the 2010s, and has ten points in 16 playoff games, ranking him in the top five, of all skaters to boot.

C: Boone Jenner (459 GP, 110 G, 105 A, 215 P, 0.47 PPG)

Along with Brandon Dubinsky and Nick Foligno, Boone Jenner was a foundational piece in putting the Blue Jackets on the map following the Rick Nash departure. His immediate impact as a rookie, putting up 29 points in 72 games, including five in six playoff games. He's been a dependable forward, playing center and winger, on any line needed, always giving his all. He's also in the top-three in points for the whole decade on the team. Yeah, he had a 30-goal season, don't you remember?

W: Scott Hartnell (234 GP, 64 G, 82 A, 146 P, 0.62 PPG)

This is a sad one for me. When the Blue Jackets brought Hartnell on, I had a feeling he was going to be gone before they did any real damage in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He was just edging out of his prime when the club brought him in, and the Blue Jackets were not close enough to make a push where Hartnell's time on the team would line up with postseason success. He was on the 2016-2017 point-breaking team, but that was the last we'd see of 'Hartsy'. He did make quick of his time in Columbus, though - he's top eight on the team in points per game (0.62) for those that played a full season in the 2010s. 


W: Oliver Bjorkstrand (233 GP, 56 G, 64 A, 120 P, 0.52 PPG)

Oliver Bjorkstrand caught just enough fire over the past few seasons to earn himself a spot as an all-decade winger for the Blue Jackets. He is a bonafide scorer at heart and was a top-12 point-getter amongst forwards for the entire decade. The way he caught fire at the end of 2019 before his injury pushed him over the edge of the likes of Brandon Saad or Jakub Voracek. 

C: Ryan Johansen (309 GP, 79 G, 114 A, 193 P, 0.62 PPG)

Like Rick Nash - Ryan Johansen was a player that the Blue Jackets deserved, but not the one they needed at the time. Johansen is a pass-first center, and though he could light the lamp, he was relied on during the early part of the decade to score more than he was wired to. Had Johansen been given a partner in crime to dish the puck to, perhaps he would've stuck around better, but it was clear a change was needed. Johansen carried some swagger in his game, giving a needed reverence to the Blue Jackets that they'd been missing for almost their whole existence. His 193 points and 0.62 points per game weren't something to scoff at, either. 

W: Josh Anderson (267 GP, 65 G, 50 A, 115 P, 0.43 PPG)

Wingers are running thin for the Blue Jackets at this point, which gives Josh Anderson the right to squeak into this all-decade list. Anderson had a breakout season a year ago, putting up 47 points in 82 games, but his abysmal start to this current season makes him a fringe addition (4 points in 26 games). 



Seth Jones (309 GP, 43 G, 144 A, 187 P, 0.61 PPG)

Zach Werenski (270 GP, 49 G, 102 A, 151 P, 0.56 PPG)

These are the two best defensemen on the Blue Jackets right now, the two best of the decade, and two of the best in the league currently. They are No. 1 and No. 2 right now in point rankings amongst defensemen for the franchise, both hold the single-season goal record and both average the most minutes of any other blue-liner. Long live 'Jonesy' and 'Z'.


James Wisniewski (209 GP, 26 G, 95 A, 121 P, 0.58 PPG)

David Savard (527 GP, 40 G, 117 A, 156 P, 0.30 PPG)

Past and present meet here as Wisniewski and Savard come together, two defensemen who couldn't be more different. Wisniewski, more so known for his explosive hits and offensive-mind (only behind Jones and Werenski for goals per game), was another pillar of the rough rebuilding years in the early part of the decade. Savard is a more stay-at-home, shot-blocking defensemen, but has been potentially the most reliable man on that blue line in club history (playing in 527 games, nearly 100 more than the next). 


Jack Johnson (445 GP, 36 G, 118 A, 154 P, 0.35 PPG)

Fedor Tyutin (471 GP, 30 G, 121 A, 151 P, 0.32 PPG)

These were two of the top three defensemen on the Blue Jackets in their 2014 Stanley Cup playoff season. Let that sink in. There was nothing dazzling about either of them (especially Tyutin) but their stats prove them to be in this ranking as a top-five or six defensemen in the decade for the team. 



Sergei Bobrovsky (213 W, .921 SV%, 2.41 GAA)

Not only was Sergei Bobrovsky the goaltender of the decade in Columbus, but he might also might have been the goaltender of the decade across the league. He is in the top-seven in nearly every measurable category for goaltenders during the 2010s and was the only one to win multiple Vezina trophies. 


Joonas Korpisalo (58 W, .908 SV%, 2.78 GAA)

Maybe one of the best backups in the league of the past decade, Korpisalo's performance as a starter down the stretch of 2019 proved himself worthy of this ranking over the likes of Curtis McElhinney. Korpisalo boasts a .908 SV% and 2.78 GAA for his career (better than all others except for Bobrovsky) and is only getting better. Not that that matters for the decade ranking purposes, but his 2019 tail-end success puts him here.


John Tortorella

I mean, yeah. He rescued the Blue Jackets from perpetual rebuilding and failure and established an attitude of professionalism and seriousness about success. Whether or not you think he's the coach of the future in Columbus or can take them to the next level, his arrival in 2015 was transcendent in turning the tide of the franchise. 

Agree? Disagree? Love it? Hate me? Hit me up and let me know your feedback.

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