After Boston College had their season ended on Friday night by Colorado College, eyes turned towards star winger Cam Atkinson to see if he would turn pro. As a sixth round pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2008 and coming off back-to-back seasons with 30+ goals at Boston College it was easy to see that the offensively hurting Jackets might want to get him out of the amateur ranks.
Today, the team signed Atkinson to a two-year entry level contract and will assign him to Springfield of the AHL. Atkinson, despite being a low round pick, became a clutch goal scorer on Chestnut Hill and helped lead the Eagles to a National Championship last season. Atkinson’s consistency and ability to score are his best qualities.
Last season he finished with 30 goals and 23 assists. This year in his junior season, he closed out the campaign with 31 goals and 21 assists. Atkinson is ready for the pro ranks and given Columbus’ issues scoring he might not be too far off from joining the big club if not for one particular aspect: Size.
Atkinson is 5’8″ 165 pounds and guys that size are rare in the NHL. Martin St. Louis and Mats Zuccarello are two of the more notable small players in the league. If Atkinson can provide the same kind of offense in the pros that he did at BC, he’ll be a lock to play consistent minutes in Columbus. He doesn’t have to look far back in Boston College lore to see other smaller players to use as examples of how to get it done in the NHL as Brian Gionta and Nathan Gerbe have carved out great careers in the NHL in spite of their size. Columbus is hoping Atkinson can be a carbon copy of Gionta as they could use that sort of gritty goal scoring.
Crosby to celebrate 30th birthday with Stanley Cup in Nova Scotia
“Get ready, the Stanley cup is coming to town!” Crosby confirmed in the tweet sent late Tuesday night. “I will be taking Lord Stanley to the streets Monday August 7th in the Halifax-Dartmouth Natal Day parade.”
The parade, part of annual events that celebrate Halifax’s birthday, also happens to fall on the Pittsburgh Penguins captain’s 30th birthday.
Natal Day chairman Greg Hayward said he expects another 25,000 people will be lining the parade route on top of the roughly 40,000 usual attendees.
“It’s extremely exciting to think that we’re going to have Sid and the Cup in our Natal Day parade,” Hayward said Wednesday.
Crosby has shown off the Stanley Cup twice before in his hometown of Cole Harbour, just outside Dartmouth, in 2009 and 2016.
Last July, Crosby carried the Cup in the back of a pickup that made its way to an arena in Cole Harbour as thousands of cheering fans looked on in sweltering heat.
Arbitration hearing looming for Arvidsson, who broke out in big way last year
“We are pleased to have Colton as part of our group for the next five seasons,” said GM Doug Armstrong in a release. “He has made tremendous progress over the last two years and possesses all the tools to be a very good NHL defenseman.”
Obviously, the Blues paid a little more on this contract, but that’s because they were able to “buy” some of Parayko’s free-agent years.
The 24-year-old just completed his second season with the Blues. He managed to four goals, 35 points and 32 penalty minutes in 81 games.
Parayko also saw his average ice-time increase from his first year to his second year, as he played just over 21 minutes per game in 2016-17.
On top of his two solid seasons in St. Louis, he also opened some eyes at this year’s World Hockey Championship, where he had three goals and seven points in six games for Team Canada. He averaged 24 minutes of ice-time during the tournament, and Canada went on to win silver.