NHL Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus Blue Jackets: Will Tim Erixon Have Bigger Impact Next Season?

Blue JAckets Tim Erixon

Jerome Miron – USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets will be on a mission during the 2013-14 season to prove that their post-lockout performance was not a fluke and that they really can be a playoff contender. To accomplish that goal, they will need to get a continued solid effort from many of the players who stepped up this season, while other can still do more for the team. The Blue Jackets are in great shape on defense, where only veteran Adrian Aucoin is a free agent and former top pick Ryan Murray may make the roster out of training camp. There should still be a spot for Tim Erixon, who played in 31 games this season, but he can definitely do more for the team to solidify his case for a permanent roster spot.

Erixon was one of the players that came to the Blue Jackets in the trade that sent Rick Nash to the New York Rangers, and he finished the season with five assists and a plus-4 rating. He saw nearly 20 minutes of ice time when in the lineup, and if Aucoin retires he could be in line for a much larger role next season. Two of Erixon’s five assists came on the power play, and he doesn’t take many penalties. Those two factors should help his case, but if he can match his offensive production from the AHL he should have a great chance to impress in the final season of his entry-level contract.

Erixon began the season with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL, where he scored five goals and had 29 points in 40 games. He is a former first round pick of the Calgary Flames and has now played in 49 career NHL games.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL senior writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.