John Tortorella would, like many NHL coaches, prefer to start training camp with a much smaller group of players. But this camp has at least given him a look at promising young players in the Blue Jackets' organization, many of whom are still around.
As the season's "official" practices begin this week, the Blue Jackets are offering a first look at what might well be their opening night line combinations and defense pairings. Alexandre Texier is still holding down the top line left wing position, and the fourth line is – as we've covered – getting a major makeover.
Scratch the previous lines, because I wasnt thinking straight (unless #CBJ GM Jarmo Kekalainen has cloned Emil Bemstrom, Multiplicity style, which I wouldnt put past him)— Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) October 1, 2019
We've seen these lines used in preseason action, but now, it's giving a clearer indication of what direction the Blue Jackets are taking with their final roster (which is due to the NHL by 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday). Jakob Lilja and Emil Bemstrom appear to be locks, while Sonny Milano might stick around due to his inability to be sent to the AHL without waivers. His situation bears monitoring as the season begins.
On defense, it looks like Zach Werenski and Seth Jones may be split to begin the season, according to Hedger. Werenski was paired in practice today with David Savard while Jones skated with Ryan Murray. The third pairing is still unsettled and the Blue Jackets need to make one more cut, which we presume to be Andrew Peeke.