Josh Anderson‘s brief conditioning stint in the AHL has come to an end. Now it’s time for him to show that he can continue his development this season despite missing the Blue Jackets’ training camp and preseason.
The 23-year-old, who is entering his second full NHL season, didn’t participate in Columbus’ preparation for the 2017-18 campaign because he was still a restricted free agent. The two sides finally ended that on Oct. 2 by agreeing on a three-year, $5.55 million contract.
Anderson got into one AHL game during his conditioning stint and recorded a team-high seven shots along with a minus-two rating. The next step is for him to practice with the Blue Jackets on Monday, per the Columbus Dispatch.
It remains to be seen if Anderson will make his NHL season debut on Tuesday, but if he does then it could be Zac Dalpe who is taken out of the lineup.
Beyond that, the big question is how much missing training camp and the preseason will weigh on Anderson. It might end up not having a noticeable impact on his output, but if he struggles out of the gate then people are going to reasonably wonder if it’s his absence from camp that’s to blame.
Anderson had 17 goals, 29 points, and 89 penalty minutes in 78 games last season while averaging 12:01 minutes per game.