Projecting The Blue Jackets' Power Play Units

By Jacob Nitzberg on September 12, 2021 at 12:05 pm
Feb 28, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek (93) skates with the puck against the Buffalo Sabres during the second period at KeyBank Center.
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jackets had a lot of problems last season.

One of the areas where they struggled the most was special teams. Their penalty kill operated with a 78.95% success rate, which put them at 21st out of 31. That's not a great rate, but a team can still be successful with a below-average penalty kill. The Canadiens, Blues, Maple Leafs, Penguins, and Predators all made the playoffs last season with worse penalty kills than the Blue Jackets.

However, all of those teams were better than the Blue Jackets in the other special teams department: the power play. The Blue Jackets converted at a 15.38% clip, which was good for 27th overall. Jack Roslovic and Patrik Laine led the club with four power-play goals apiece, and Cam Atkinson notched eight power-play assists to lead the team.

There are some key departures that will affect the personnel on the power play. Atkinson is now a member of the Flyers. Seth Jones, who was the quarterback of the first power-play unit, was traded to the Blackhawks. Max Domi, who saw time with the unit, will miss at least the first month of the season after shoulder surgery.

There's also good news, though. Gustav Nyquist is back after missing all of last season. Jakub Voracek was acquired from the Flyers in exchange for Atkinson. In the Jones trade, the Blue Jackets brought over young defenseman Adam Boqvist, who should get a look on one of the units.

With that in mind, here's how I think the power play will look at the beginning of the season:

PP1: Werenski-Voracek-Roslovic-Laine-Bjorkstrand

Career Power Play Statistics GP PPG PPA PPP
Jakub Voracek 968 52 181 233
Patrik Laine 351 56 35 91
Zach Werenski 335 14 50 64
Oliver Bjorkstrand 302 11 13 24
Jack Roslovic 228 10 9 19

Zach Werenski will unquestionably quarterback the Blue Jackets' top unit. With him, the Blue Jackets will have Voracek's passing ability, Laine's wicked one-timer, Bjorkstrand's scoring ability, and Roslovic's ability to be a jack-of-all-trades.

PP2: Boqvist-Nyquist-Texier-Hofmann-Bemstrom

Career Power Play Statistics GP PPG PPA PPP
Gustav Nyquist 570 37 48 85
Gregory Hofmann* 272 38 36 74
Adam Boqvist 76 1 9 10
Emil Bemstrom 76 6 3 9
Alexandre Texier 87 0 1 1

*Gregory Hofmann has played his entire career in Switzerland, up until this season. The stats listed for him are from that time.

Boqvist is the best option to quarterback the second unit. Nyquist brings experience and a scoring touch. After that, it gets a bit interesting. Texier hasn't seen much time on the power play, hence his low scoring total, but there's not really another option based on how the Blue Jackets roster is currently constructed. Hofmann has been a dynamite scorer in Switzerland, especially on the power play, so the Blue Jackets will hope that his game will transition quickly to the NHL. Lastly, Bemstrom has shown he can score in bunches.