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A New Look in Columbus

By Connor Moriarty

Columbus GM Moriarty went through a large turnover in the offseason looking to overhaul the roster in order to make this team finally turn the corner and become a playoff contender and the early results are promising. The Jackets started the season with a solid 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars, looking good on both sides of the puck. Columbus' new additions stepped up and 2025 offseason signing Alex Iafallo hopes to rebound from a weak first season.

The Jackets added a number of veterans in the offseason through trades and free agency. Added to the Jackets through trade were Andrew Cogliano, Milan Lucic, Patrice Cormier, Phil Kessel and Ryan McDonagh were added. In Free Agency, the Jackets added veterans Jakob Silfverberg, Mats Zuccarello, William Karlsson and welcomed back Greg McKegg. Vasily Podkolzin fell to 9th OV in the draft and after trading up to acquire him, GM Moriarty was ecstatic to draft the Russian winger who figures to be a huge part of the future for the Jackets. 

Trades however meant that Columbus favourites were dealt out of Ohio and moving on were the likes of Zemgus Girgensens, Derrick Pouliot, Luke Kunin, Zach Senyshyn, Tom Wilson, Freddy Gauthier, Tyler Cuma and Simon Hjalmarsson. With those moves Columbus was able to heavily invest in their future, spending almost $40 million on workouts for the up and coming studs. 

In game one the new guys came to play with Kessel scoring in his debut and Lucic picking up an assist. Sonny Milano stepped up with 2 goals and 1 assist game and 2025 1st OV pick made his FNHL debut and recorded his first point with an assist on the season opening goal. 

Columbus looks to keep up its solid play - which we saw through the preseason - Thursday against St Louis who also opened their season with a win. Riku Helenius will continue to get the starts after a solid 2025 season, looks to continue that play into 2026 which is a contract year for the goaltender. 

10/21/2020 - 337 words

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