Gameday is here.
The Blue Jackets will battle the Sabres in Buffalo on Saturday in the team's fourth preseason game. Below is the lineup for the game, which begins at 3 p.m. ET and will stream on bluejackets.com.
- Jake Bean was a full participant in Saturday's practice for the first time this camp after being out with an abductor strain.
- The Blue Jackets trimmed their training camp roster by 14 on Friday. They loaned forwards Tyler Angle, Luca Del Bel Belluz, Cameron Butler, and Mikael Pyyhtia along with defensemen Ole-Julian Bjorgvik-Holm and Samuel Knazko to Cleveland. Forwards Roman Ahcan, Owen Sillinger, and Jake Gaudet along with defensemen Cole Clayton, who are all on AHL contracts, were also sent back to Cleveland. Joining them for the beginning of training camp with be goaltender Eric Dop and forward Martin Rysavy. Defensemen Nicholas Meloche and Thomas Schemitsch were released from their tryout contracts.
Kent Johnson's Media Availability From Sept. 21
The 20-year-old forward said he's trying to improve heading into his second full NHL season.
"I feel really confident coming in," Johnson said. "I feel like I can have a really good year. [I] put a lot of good work in the summer. So [I'm] really excited."
While he didn't know fellow Wolverine Adam Fantilli too well before the season, Johnson is excited to be joined by another Michigan man.
"It's awesome," Johnson said. "I got to know him here and he's a really nice guy and obviously a great player we all know so it's going to be really exciting. I think he's going to help our team a lot and it's going to be fun to play with him."
Johnson said he worked on getting stronger and faster in the summer but also enjoyed getting to battle and dealing with pressure on the ice. He said he put on 10 pounds in the summer, adding that it's hard for him to put on weight so any weight is good weight.
It's no secret that there is a bevy of forwards on the roster, and Johnson said the internal competition is awesome.
"A lot of the good teams I've been on, internal competition is huge," Johnson said. "We want to keep doing that. Everyone wants to push each other and earn their minutes."
He said that he hasn't had too many conversations about playing center, but has been working on face-offs and said he'll play wherever the coaches want him to play.
Johnson, like his other teammates, is excited about having Pascal Vincent as head coach.
"It's awesome," Johnson said. "[I'm] so excited for him. He's obviously a great person and [a] really smart coach. So yeah, I'm just really happy for him and excited to get going."
"I think he really loves hockey too," Johnson continued. "And we talk and stay on and work on the little stuff. [We talked] about the powerplay last year quite a lot. So that was obviously really good. And just a lot of little tendencies that top guys do that he's kind of helping me with. So it's great."
Entering the final year of his deal, Johnson isn't thinking about his contract status and said it'll be easy not to worry about it while he's playing.
The club's first regular season game is just 12 days away.