It is hard to spin a positive on an injury-stricken season like the one the Columbus Blue Jackets are currently enduring. But with all of those injuries comes a silver lining - plenty of debuts for young players. This could be players on the verge of cracking the roster all the way down to players that would not have otherwise sniffed the NHL for the next few seasons.
Needless to say, the future is bright in Columbus.
This season has been categorized as a tough one in many ways, but injuries are certainly the headline of an otherwise arduous season. From losing Joonas Korpisalo for an extended streak of the season to not having players like Josh Anderson and Cam Atkinson as well as also losing two pivotal players in Oliver Bjorkstrand and Seth Jones down the stretch, it is hard to see a positive out of all of this.
But for those optimistically inclined out there, this has been a reason for hope. For starters, the injury to Jones has resulted in more minutes for a young defenseman like Markus Nutivaara and more responsibility for Vladislav Gavrikov.
It has also seen a debut for Andrew Peeke, a young defenseman who shows a great deal of promise. This is yet another point to the fact that the Jackets have an extremely deep pool of prospects on the blue line.
As for the other two, many organizations would struggle to replace players as pivotal to the offensive production as Atkinson, Bjorkstrand, and Anderson. And while Columbus has not been without its offensive struggles, it has opened the door for players like Emil Bemstrom, who has three goals in his last three games, Eric Robinson, and Kevin Stenlund to show glimpses of the future to come.
And this isn't even mentioning the obviously bright future of Alexandre Texier.
So to put it into shorter terms, you can continue to lament about the struggle this season has been - even though the Jackets are still in the playoff hunt - or you can look to the future with optimistic eyes.
Columbus, thanks to the efficient scouting and prudent drafting, has an immensely bright future ahead of them. Thanks, Jarmo.
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