Talk about a hectic Monday at the office.
General manager Jarmo Kekӓlӓinen and company kept busy in the hours leading up to Monday’s trade deadline. The club gave winger Cam Atkinson a three-year, $10.5 million extension while sending defenseman James Wisniewski and a 2015 third round pick to Anaheim and defenseman Jordon Leopold to Minnesota.
In return, Columbus received second and fifth round picks in this year’s draft, defenseman Justin Falk (From Minnesota), center William Karlsson and winger Rene Bourque (both from Anaheim.) The second round pick comes from Anaheim and the fifth from Minnesota.
We’ll have to wait a while to see what comes of those picks, but the three players represent a wide array of experience levels, physical size, and productivity.
From everyone on The 5th Line in Columbus… Thank you Wiz! #WeAreThe5thLine;2 #CBJ pic.twitter.com/vazXV6oE6b
— Matthew Pfeffer (@PfefferFeff) March 3, 2015
Rene Bourque – Age: 33 | Height: 6’2’’ | Weight: 214 | Shoots: Left
Bourque’s three and a half-year stint in Calgary from 2008-2012 stands as the finest stretch of his career. He accumulated 164 points (88 G, 76 A) in 249 games with the Flames before being traded to Montreal during the 2011-12 season. In the three seasons following the trade, Bourque has totaled only 37 points and even if he were to play in each of Columbus’s remaining games, he will have not played more than 63 games. He was traded to Anaheim 13 games into this season. Bourque also spent four games with Montreal’s AHL affiliate in Hamilton where he posted four points in four games. Though his regular season performances have not filled the stat sheet, Bourque registered eight goals and three assists in 17 playoff games with Montreal last season, including a performance to remember against New York (see the video below.) He will report to Springfield.
Justin Falk – Age: 26 | Height: 6’5’’ | Weight: 216 | Shoots: Left
Falk instantly became the one of the biggest players on Columbus’s roster, he and Dalton Prout would make a frightening pairing, but Falk has yet to play a full season at the NHL level. The largest amount of NHL games Falk has played in a season is 47 with Minnesota during the 2011-12 season. This season, he has played 39 games with AHL Iowa to 13 games with Minnesota. Falk will get his chance to prove himself at the top-level soon. Columbus is in need of defenseman and Falk will report to Columbus immediately.
Thanks for the warm welcome @BlueJacketsNHL fans! Excited to be apart of the great city and organization!
— Justin Falk (@JuicerFalk) March 3, 2015
William Karlsson – Age: 22 | Height: 6’0’’ | Weight: 176 | Shoots: Left
In his first season in the NHL, Karlsson has spent the majority of his time with AHL Norfolk where he accumulated 21 points in 35 games. He has three points in 18 NHL games. Karlsson spent two seasons playing for HV 71 of the Swedish Hockey League prior to this season where he finished with 65 points (19 G, 46 A) in 105 games.
Elite prospects described Karlsson as a speedy and skilled player who passes well and works hard on both ends of the ice. However, his small stature has been called into question. Karlsson will join Bourque in Springfield.