28-Year-Old Left Wing – Columbus Blue Jackets
Matt Calvert Contract Information:
Re-signed with the Blue Jackets on a three-year, $6.6 million extension in July 2015.
Calvert (illness) was on the ice for Wednesday's practice, Tom Reed of The Athletic Cleveland reports.
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Matt Calvert: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Calvert played in a career-high 73 games last year, but wasn't able to to turn the extra ice time into extra production, tying his previous career high with 24 points. He's purely a bottom-six grinder, and as young prospects like Oliver Bjorkstrand and Sonny Milano start pushing for NHL jobs, Calvert could find himself on the roster bubble.
Calvert's abrasive, high-energy style took its toll on his body last season and limited him to 56 games, but he did set career highs with 24 points and 53 PIM. He's a great fit for the Blue Jackets' third line, and could produce useful numbers in a multi-category league if he plays a full campaign, but his lack of size could continue to leave him susceptible to injuries.
The undersized Calvert solidified a spot for himself last season in the Blue Jackets' bottom six, providing energy, a blue collar work ethic and some surprising scoring punch down the stretch. He won't see enough top unit ice time to ever be a big fantasy contributor, but Calvert is showing signs of developing into a player the opposition hates to see hop over the boards.
Calvert hit the wall hard as a sophomore, managing just three assists in 13 NHL games, but his 17 goals, 36 points and 52 PIMs in 56 AHL games speak to his potential as a two-way forward. The Blue Jackets will be looking for grit and any offense they can get this season, so if Calvert can start to harness his skills, he has a chance to replicate those AHL numbers on the bigger stage.
Calvert didn't look out of place at all in his first taste of the NHL, scoring 11 goals and 20 points in 42 games while maintaining a positive plus-minus rating on a team that got outscored by half-a-goal a night on average. He's got some offensive upside once he's established himself as a big league regular, but for now look for him to pay his dues on an energy line, or riding the Columbus-Springfield shuttle.
Could have an NHL future as a second/third line winger, but he's still a year or two away from regular duty.