Another day, another training camp notebook.
The Blue Jackets went with the same groups on Saturday that they used on Thursday, and group one defeated group three 4-0 in a scrimmage that was open to the public.
Observations & News
- Adam Fantilli and Patrik Laine were a dynamic duo in the scrimmage, each assisting the other's highlight-reel goal.
- Boone Jenner returned to the ice Friday after leaving Thursday's early.
- Cameron Butler left the scrimmage after taking an open-ice hit from Sean Kuraly.
- Yegor Chinakhov, who has yet to take the ice at training camp, is day-to-day with a back strain.
- The Blue Jackets trimmed their roster by 11 players. They sent forwards Luca Pinelli (OHL - Ottawa) and Tyler Peddle (QMJHL - Drummondville) back to their junior squads and released D Nicholas DeAngelis, F Kocha Delic, D Gunner Kinniburgh, D Joe Leahy, F Sean McGurn, F Nate Schnarr, F Jakin Smallwood, F Aidan Spellacy and F Oasiz Wiesblatt from their tryout contracts.
- "Yeah, it's going great. Obviously, he's really easy to play with. He's super skilled, super smart, and he works really hard. So it's been really easy to be on a line with him." - Adam Fantilli on playing on a line with Patrik Laine.
- "It all starts there. Yeah, I mean, the improvements have to start. I think we talked today and one of our three keys is going to be defending the slot. [That is] a key indicator of teams that go to the playoffs." - Sean Kuraly on improving defensively.
One-on-one with Blue Jackets prospect Luca Pinelli
The Blue Jackets selected Pinelli, a forward, with the No. 114 overall pick in the 2023 Draft. He scored 29-34--63 in 67 games last season for the Ottawa 67's of the OHL. The Blue Jackets sent him back to Ottawa on Saturday, concluding his first NHL training camp.
Impressions of your first NHL training camp?
Pinelli: "It was obviously an unreal experience getting to be here. Obviously, it's really exciting for me and for it to be my first camp. I really enjoyed it and they did a great job."
Did you know anything about the Blue Jackets before you were drafted?
Pinelli: "Not too much, I would say. I grew up in Ontario, but obviously I knew a couple of players just from around the league and just watching the NHL and stuff. Obviously, I know they're a great organization. And obviously, I can really tell by coming here. They've done a great job."
What did you think about the crowd at today's scrimmage?
Pinelli: "It was really cool to kind of see them out there. They're getting into it after each goal and the goal song and stuff. So it was pretty cool to see all those people come out and they seem like great fans."
As an undersized player (5'9"), you've surely been told you're too small to play. What kept you going through hockey to the point where you're an NHL draft pick?
Pinelli: "I think my compete, my ability to not back down from anyone. I think I just prove that."
Do you like to get under your opponent's skin?
Pinelli: "Yeah, a little bit. I think, like I said, with my compete, I think I can get under guys' skin. Just kind of battling hard, and stuff like that."
Do you have any goals for the upcoming season with Ottawa?
Pinelli: "I think it's kind of just [that] I want to get better. I want to be kind of a great leader for that team. And I'm ready to kind of be that leader and I'm excited to see what's coming up."
The Blue Jackets are back in action Sunday with a pair of split-squad games against the Pittsburgh Penguins at 1 p.m. ET in Pittsburgh and 7 p.m. ET in Columbus.