Adam Fantilli and Kent Johnson Earning Their Ice Time

By Coby Maeir on December 8, 2023 at 10:15 am
Columbus Blue Jackets center Kent Johnson (91) controls the puck as New York Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson (8) defends during the first period at UBS Arena.
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

There's not much to be positive about when regarding the Columbus Blue Jackets. Based on points percentage, they sit in last place in the Eastern Conference and 30th overall, staring down their fourth straight season without playoff hockey. They've also lost three games in a row, including two games where they held a third-period lead. However, if there's one positive to take from Thursday's 7-3 loss to the Islanders, it's the play of Adam Fantilli and Kent Johnson

Fantilli recorded two goals and an assist while Johnson posted a pair of helpers, and both players, along with linemate Emil Bemstrom were on the ice for all three Blue Jackets goals.

According to, Fantilli and Johnson had five-on-five on-ice expected goal shares of 77.5% and 58.5%, respectively. This comes one game after Fantilli played just 10:11 and Johnson logged 8:06. 

On Thursday, Fantilli played 14:51 and Johnson played 14:58. For Fantilli, that's 27 seconds below his season average, but for Johnson, it's 2:31 above his season average and a season-high. Per, Fantilli and Johnson both posted season-high game scores at 3.96 and 2.27, respectively.

With the Jackets already being out of the playoff picture, the development of their young players, especially Fantilli and Johnson, is paramount. They earned their increased ice time on Thursday.

Will they continue to do so?

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