The Columbus Blue Jackets will be back in action tomorrow (hopefully) after their first game out of the holiday break was postponed. In preparation for their return, the team has announced several roster moves today. Cole Sillinger has been activated from injured reserve, Emil Bemstrom was recalled from the AHL under emergency conditions, and Jake Christiansen was returned to the Cleveland Monsters.
Sillinger will be the headliner here, after missing a few games with an upper-body injury. The 19-year-old forward is experiencing a sophomore slump in his second year, with just two goals and six points through 30 games. That follows an excellent rookie season when he put up 16 goals and 31 points.
Struggles like that happen for a lot of young players who jump directly into the league, as they try to adapt to the grind of the league. Sillinger is seeing less and less ice time of late, and now had to battle through an injury. He’ll be tested in the second half, as the Blue Jackets look to try and build some confidence for next season.
Bemstrom, 23, has shown exactly why he hadn’t really needed the AHL in the past by dominating the minor leagues this year. After being sent down, he has 14 goals and 31 points in 21 games for Cleveland, his first lengthy experience in the minors. The young forward made the jump directly from Sweden to the NHL in 2019 and had a great rookie season, but – just like Sillinger – struggled to repeat it. In seven games with the Blue Jackets this season he does have four points, and will likely get another chance to stick with the big club in the second half.