The flip-flop of young backups continues in Columbus. The Blue Jackets announced today that they have demoted Joonas Korpisalo to the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters and recalled Anton Forsberg to take his place. The 22-year-old Korpisalo won both of his last two starts, but was unimpressive, allowing a combined ten goals in the process. He did relieve Sergei Bobrovsky recently with 13 minutes of shutout hockey, but it was not enough to keep him around. Korpisalo has an .893 SV% and 3.57 GAA in five appearances this season. Ironically, Forsberg has not done much better. In his first and only game with Columbus in 2016-17, the 24-year-old allowed four goals on 27 shots in a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. With both young keepers set to go unprotected in the upcoming Expansion Draft, perhaps it is GM Jarmo Kekalainen’s strategy to not allow either to get hot at the NHL level in an effort to dissuade the Vegas Golden Knights from damaging the Blue Jackets’ future in net.
Columbus also sent Oliver Bjorkstrand down to the AHL. The 21-year-old Danish winger was expected to have a much greater role with the Blue Jackets this season, but to this point has just one point in five games. Bjorkstrand has spent almost the whole season with the Monsters, scoring 14 goals and nine assists in 35 games.
Elsewhere across the league:
- Last night, the Edmonton Oilers recalled defenseman Jordan Oesterle and forward Anton Lander from the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors. The pair have been sent back-and-forth frequently of late while Edmonton balances their lineup. Lander has been demoted recently during struggles to make a difference with the Oilers, only to dominate the AHL level with 28 points in 18 games. On the flip side, Edmonton has tried inserting Oesterle into the lineup recently due to his 18 points in 26 games to lead all Condors defensemen.
- Eric Gelinas has been reassigned to the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage by the struggling Colorado Avalanche. The Avs are desperate for defense, but Gelinas has not been the solution. The former New Jersey Devils top prospect was traded to Colorado at the deadline last year, and has been a major disappointment. After playing a prominent role for the Devils, he has just one point in 33 games for the Avalanche.
- One of the main reasons that the Winnipeg Jets placed defenseman Julian Melchiori on waivers earlier today was to make room for fellow blue liner Ben Chiarot. The Jets announced that they have activated Chiarot from the injured reserve today. Chiarot has been out since early January for the Jets, and his presence will be much-welcomed with Tyler Myers still sidelined.
- Buffalo announced via Twitter that they have sent forward Evan Rodrigues back to AHL Rochester. He has played in just four career NHL games – two this season – but is having a strong season at the minor league level with nine goals and 18 assists in 43 contests with the Amerks.
- The Sharks have made a series of roster moves, announcing that they have recalled defenseman Tim Heed and winger Kevin Labanc from San Jose of the AHL while assigning blueliner Joakim Ryan and center Ryan Carpenter to the Barracuda. Heed and Labanc have been shuffled back and forth routinely as the team looks to free up extra cap space and will be available for a matinee game against the Flyers tomorrow.
- Dallas has assigned blueliner Julius Honka to their AHL affiliate in Texas, reports Mark Stepneski of Stars Inside Edge (Twitter link). Honka has played in ten NHL games this season, recording four assists. The move suggests that Jamie Oleksiak could be ready to return from his hand injury; he has been out of the lineup since January 11th.