Training Camp Notebook (9/27): One-on-one with Blue Jackets Defenseman Nick Blankenburg, Observations, and Notes

By Coby Maeir on September 27, 2022 at 5:50 pm
Nick Blankenburg
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

The Jackets were back on the ice Tuesday after a day off on Monday.


  • Jakub Voracek looks sharp. He had a nice shot off the crossbar and in during practice drills that elicited 'oohs' and 'ahs' from the players and media in attendance. 
  • Lines I saw in practice today are embedded in the tweet below:



  • Center Cole Sillinger and defenseman Ben Harpur did not practice today as both players are dealing with upper-body injuries. 
  • The club announced its roster for tomorrow night's preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres. The game starts at 7 p.m. ET at Nationwide Arena and be broadcast live on, the CBJ app, and 97.1FM The Fan. The roster is embedded in the tweet below:

One-on-one with Blue Jackets rookie defenseman Nick Blankenburg

I spoke to Blankenburg after Tuesday's practice to discuss playing with Zach Werenski, earning a second NHL contract, and more.

Last week, Andrew Peeke told me there's an internal competition among the right-shot defensemen to see who will be on the top pair. Today you played with Werenski, what was that like and how have you taken to that competition?

Blankenburg: "It feels really good [to play with Werenski]. [It] feels pretty cool to be able to play with another guy who played at Michigan, obviously and obviously everyone's seen how good of a defenseman he is and what he can do. So, it's pretty cool to be paired up with him and just try and make the most out of the opportunity every time I'm out there with him. So it's exciting. And like you said too, there's obviously a big competition and it's exciting and it's a good thing to have here. So it's good."

Is there a similar internal competition this year compared to the ultra-talented Michigan team you played on last season?

Blankenburg: "Yeah, there always is. And that's how it was ever since I got to Michigan. Since my freshman year, there's always [been] guys [that are] high draft picks coming in and guys fighting for roles and spots. So [it's] something that I'm used to throughout my time at Michigan and obviously something that I've seen is going to continue no matter what level you're playing at. So it's exciting. And like I said, [I] love a good challenge."

What's the difference between the off-season going into your senior year at Michigan and the off-season heading into your first full season as a pro? Is it habits? Mindset?

Blankenburg: "Obviously, just the schedule and everything is a lot different and
it's just a new transition into this new season of my life that I'm kind of going into. But, I'd say am I just trying to stay true to who I am and with my habits and everything that I'm doing day in and day out and just continue to be the person that I am off the ice and just continue to work hard on the ice."

How good did it feel to see your hard work rewarded with a second NHL contract?

Blankenburg: "Yeah, it was nice. It was definitely a little sense of relief knowing that those last seven games were a tryout at the end of the year. But, [I'm] just extremely excited to be back here for the next two years and be a part of what they're building here. So [I'm] having a blast and it's been a lot of fun. So I look forward to [continuing] to do it."

The Jackets will hit the ice Wednesday for practice before their third preseason game of 2022 Wednesday night. 

1 Comment
View 1 Comments