Fantilli sustained the injury when Seattle forward Jared McCann’s left skate made incidental contact with Fantilli’s left calf as he attempted to lay a hit. The skate reached Fantilli’s calf despite him wearing multiple layers of protective equipment, including Kevlar socks, per multiple sources.
The 19-year-old has largely been successful in what’s been a tumultuous season for Columbus. Through 49 games, the 2023 third-overall pick has 12 goals, 15 assists and 27 points while averaging 15:42 per game.
An eight-week recovery timeline from today puts Fantilli back in the Blue Jackets lineup with 10 games remaining in the regular season. He will be out through the Trade Deadline and is looking at a return during the last week of March.
Critics of Fantilli’s two-way game during his rookie season will point to his -21 rating, but there’s more to that number than meets the eye. He’s controlled 48.4% of Corsi events at even strength – 1% higher than the Blue Jackets’ total share without Fantilli on the ice – good enough for seventh on the team. His rating has been brought down by goaltending, as Columbus netminders have a .861 SV% when Fantilli is on the ice in all situations.
He’s bounced around the lineup this season, but head coach Pascal Vincent has most commonly used Fantilli either at center between veterans Johnny Gaudreau and Justin Danforth or on a ’Kid Line’ of sorts with Kirill Marchenko and Dmitri Voronkov. Other Blue Jackets youngsters, namely Yegor Chinakhov and Kent Johnson, will likely receive a bit more ice time with Fantilli out of the fold.