The Columbus Blue Jackets are far from being favored to win the 2020 Stanley Cup after the NHL season resumes in August. DraftKings Sportsbook has their odds set at +6500. Only the Montreal Canadiens (+7000) and Chicago Blackhawks (+7500) have worse odds. However, the extended break caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has given some Blue Jackets players time to recover from injuries. Let’s take a look at some players worth monitoring ahead of the postseason.
Winger Oliver Bjorkstrand has had a season riddled with injuries. He leads Columbus in goals (21) despite only playing in 49 of his team’s 70 games. His missed a month with an oblique/rib injury earlier this year and suffered wha looked like a season-ending leg injury in February. However, he started getting back on the ice in April and could join his team for the postseason.
Cam Atkinson hasn’t played since February because of an ankle injury and was nearing a return in March before the season was paused. The winger should be ready to contribute come August with four months of recovery time he didn’t think he’d get added to his hiatus.
Defender Seth Jones has been recovering from a fractured ankle since February and was activated from injured reserve in June. The Blue Jackets’ plus/minus leader will be important, as Columbus has given up the third fewest goals (187) in the NHL this year.
How will the return of these players affect the Blue Jackets in the tournament? That can’t be determined until teams get back on the ice. However, Columbus should definitely be better off with its often-depleted roster replenished.