New Guy on the Team
Patrik Laine was traded less than a month ago from the Winnipeg Jets to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The trade was in exchange for Pierre-Luc Dubois and a 2022 third-round pick. Keeping this in mind, Laine hasn’t played many games with his new team. However, Blue Jackets’ head coach John Tortorella benched the 22-year old Finland hockey player during a Carolina Hurricanes matchup Monday, Feb. 8.
It was during the second period after 13:41 had gone by when he was benched. Consequently, Laine didn’t see any more time on the ice after this.
The Blue Jackets pulled off a 3-2 win versus the Canes, which helped the team improve their record to 6-5-3 It’s not where this team really wants to be at this point in the season, but unfortunately, this is where they are at.
The Blue Jackets have some time to improve. But this means there is no time for mistakes, even the smallest since they could end up leading to bigger problems in the future.
Laine was benched soon after a tying goal was made by Hurricanes’ Brock McGinn during the second period. However, the reason why Laine was benched wasn’t because of this. The actual reason why Tortorella benched the star player wasn’t really revealed.
Playing Analysis: How Laine Has Performed on the Ice
At this point, Laine has only played four games with the Jackets. He has registered three goals in just four games, so that’s a good start. But before that, he has managed to perform pretty well with his former team.
Laine was drafted to the Winnnipeg Jets in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, selected No. 2 overall. Throughout Laine’s career with the Jets, he has been able to push the limits, recording 35 assists through a course of 68 games during the 2019-20 season. This is notably a career high for the Finnish winger.
Additionally, Laine started off the 2020-21 NHL season with two goals and only one assist.
It is also worth noting that during his rookie season, Laine was a part of the 2017 NHL All-Star Game. Moving forward from those early years, Laine has been able to accomplish a lot and make a name for himself.
In early 2017, he passed the Jets and Atlanta Thrasher’s record for most goals by a rookie. It was, indeed, an impressive achievement for Laine.
While the 2018-19 season was sort of slow for Laine, he was definitely able to make up for it during the next season. It seemed like the 2019-20 season was his year.
Despite of a shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Laine completed the season with 63 points in only 68 games.
A New Beginning With the Blue Jackets
On Saturday, Jan. 23, Laine was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He didn’t make his official debut on the ice until a little over a week later, Feb. 3. Since then, he has only played four games and was benched for the remainder of the game against the Hurricanes.
Despite this, Laine is a young hockey star who has proven a lot to the Jets. He was able to contribute to his former team in significant ways. The good qualities he exhibits during each game over his five years of being an NHL player is a key attribute to the Blue Jackets.
However, Laine is only in his early days with the Blue Jackets. This means he still has a lot to prove to his new team. He will have a lot of work to put in every game to help the Jackets improve their record and get on track for the playoffs.