One week into the regular season, and the league has enjoyed excitement from all 30 teams. Since I mainly cover the Blue Jackets, this team will discuss one of those 30 teams.
The Lake Erie Monsters won their first two games of the season against the Rockford Ice Hogs, the affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks. The Monsters saw production from former first round pick Sonny Milano; offseason signee Aaron Palushaj; and veteran Jamie Siefers; not to mention stellar goaltending from Anton Forsberg.
Also, the Monsters received their Calder Cup Rings from CBJ assistant general manger/Cleveland general manager Bill Zito, with the most notable picture (personally) including Sonny Milano; Oliver Bjorkstrand; and Zach Werenski, as all three will be stars in the NHL one day.
The final note- going along with the wins- a big congratulations to Monsters coach John Madden for winning his first ever game as a head coach. Maybe he replaces Torotrella??
With the Blue Jackets being off and the NBA preseason wrapping up, the Cavaliers played at the Schottestien Center, home of the Ohio State Buckeyes, where members of the Jackets met memebers of the defending NBA Champions. Some of the pictures posted online include Seth Jones, son of Popeye Jones (a famous NBA player), alongside Akron Ohio native Lebron James. The picture with King James also included Alex Wennberg; Dalton Prout; and Boone Jenner. It was also cool to see all four with former Minnesota Timber Wolf Kevin Love as well. Finally, seeing former New York Knick J.R. Smith wear an Ohio State Hockey Jersey was crazy to see too.
Over the weekend, the Jackets and the CBJ Foundation came together to bring people together at Harrison's on Kenny, north of Upper Arlington for celebrity bar tending and raising money for charity. This weekend, Brandon Saad; Oliver Bjorkstrand; and Ryan Murray participated in the event.
After being traded from the London Knights to the Flint Firebirds, Kole Sherwood is over a point per game player, being given more ice time and a better role.
After being sent to juniors for not making the big club this year, the third overall pick returns to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles with an assist in his first game back. Yes, I am talking about Pierre-Luc Dubois. PLD will have a top line center role with the chance to thrive down the circle and have a more prominent role on a better team than suffer a learning curve.
Vitaly Abramov is a point per game player with his QMJHL team, and the third rounder looks to be another steal for the Jackets in this case.
Sam Ruopp, a 2015 late round draft pick, has 5 points in 8 games with the Everett Silvertips. Who know who else came through that junior program? Ryan Murray.
Peter Thome, a 2016 late round draft pick, is undefeated in the USHL so far with four wins, but subpar goals against and save percentage.
Kevin Stenlund, a 2015 2nd round pick, has two points in five games with the Sweedish Elite League.
Gabriel Carlsson, a 2015 1st round pick, has two points in eight games in the SHL.
Elvis Merzlikins, a long time prospect in the system, is 5-1-1 with a 0.922 save percentage.
Not a bad start for the Columbus prospects as they continue to add to what they have.
Ohio born players have been stepping their game up, making more and more hockey rosters.
In Arizona, there is Dublin native Connor Murphy. So far, the former first rounder has two assists in two games.
In Boston, there is Dublin native Sean Kurlay. So far, he is pointless in three AHL games.
In Colorado, there is Dublin native and former Lake Erie Monster Trent Vogelhuber. So far, he is pointless in two AHL games.
In New York, the Rangers have an East Palestine native in J.T. Miller. So far, he has two points in three game (one goal, one assist).
In Vancouver, they have a center in Cole Cassels, son of former NHLer and Columbus Blue Jacket Andrew Cassels. Even though he spent most his time bouncing city to city with his father, Cassels spent most his childhood in Dublin. So far, he is pointless in two AHL games.
In Winnipeg, they have a former first round pick with the Manitoba Moose in Columbus native Jack Roslovic. So far, the 19 year old has a goal and an assist with the Manitoba Moose (2 points in 3 AHL games).
What are your thoughts on the Columbus Blue Jackets and hockey around Ohio?
More to come...