The Columbus Blue Jackets have made a big move in buying out forward Alexander Wennberg. The move comes just as free agency is scheduled to begin. Columbus has not been particularly active lately but this move could signal big changes coming during the offseason. They could join the Taylor Hall sweepstakes. The announcement will be made at noon E.T. today.
Jackets moving more money out… we’ve talked about their interest on Taylor Hall potentially… https://t.co/wRFtzf50VJ
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 8, 2020
Blue Jackets Buy-Out Alexander Wennberg
Wennberg had another disappointing season in 2019-20. He scored just five goals and 22 points in 57 games. This was his second consecutive campaign with fewer than 30 points. Wennberg’s production has fallen dramatically since 2016-17 when he scored 13 goals and 59 points in 80 games. His possession numbers aren’t terrible so there are two things that could be happening. Either he peaked early in his career and this is what we should expect moving forward or he’s a victim of multi-year bad luck.
The Blue Jackets originally selected Wennberg in the first round of the 2013 Draft. He debuted in 2014-15 with four goals and 20 points in 68 games. Overall, he has 40 goals and 201 points in 415 games. Those aren’t bad numbers but they are below what Columbus was expecting from the 14th selection. Wennberg doesn’t contribute to many physical stats so his recent lack of scoring punch will be a concern for his next team.
What This Means for the Future
There is plenty of time for Wennberg to turn his career trajectory around. He has good size at 6′-2″, 197-pounds and only recently turned 26-years-old. The end of his career with Columbus looks bad but he still only has 400 games in six seasons. It’s not impossible he latches on with a new team and performs like a quality middle-six forward again.
This move also saves Columbus money in the long run. Current projects show it saving the team $10.7 million in cash and roughly $4.46 million in cap space for the next three seasons. The Blue Jackets have big pending free agents like Pierre-Luc Dubois to re-sign and this move helps create more space to do just that.
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