News broke Friday afternoon that the Columbus Blue Jackets had placed right wing Josh Anderson on the injured reserve with an upper-body injury. The injury came against the Pittsburgh Penguins on October 5th. Columbus has recalled Markus Hannikainen to fill the empty roster spot per the team’s Twitter account. The injury is currently described as day-to-day.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) October 11, 2019
Columbus Blue Jackets Place Josh Anderson on IR
Anderson’s injury comes at a time when Columbus is still trying to find its identity. The Blue Jackets are 1-3 on the season and struggling to generate consistent offence. The 25-year-old winger was scoreless through his first two games. Anderson was expected to be a big part of Columbus’ efforts to stay competitive in the Metropolitan Division after scoring 27 goals and 47 points in 2018-19. He is a good scorer who also contributed over 200 hits last year. He is a well-rounded player who can do just about everything.
Over his career, Anderson has scored 64 goals and added 47 assists for 111 points in 243 games.
Anderson was originally drafted by the Blue Jackets in the fourth round, 95th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
What This Means for the Future
Anderson’s most frequent linemates this year were Boone Jenner and Nick Foligno. That spot will now be filled by someone like top prospect Emil Bemstrom or the newly-recalled Hannikainen. The 6’1″ Finnish winger hasn’t played much since debuting in 2015-16. He has just 91 games over four years to this point. Last year was a career-high in points with seven. Hannikainen is far from a scoring threat but he does add a physical presence to the bottom-six. He posted 63 hits and eight blocks in 44 games last year.
Columbus hopes their fourth-leading scorer can return soon. While there is no indication when Anderson will be able to return, he is eligible to return as early as Saturday Night’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Metropolitan Division is still wide-open and the Blue Jackets have the talent to compete. Their top-six is solid and the blue line has good players in Zach Werenski and Seth Jones. Anderson is a big part of Columbus’ future and in-line for a raise when he hits restricted free agency this summer. Neither side wants this injury to linger and affect things for too long.
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