Coach: Blue Jackets rookie could miss rest of season

With multiple injuries coming to the top of the 2023 NHL Draft class this season, it appears that Adam Fantilli of the Columbus Blue Jackets may be the only one unable to return this year. In an update from Craig Merz of the NHL, Fantilli’s recovery has been much slower than expected, a reality that could postpone his next matchup until next year.

Fantilli went down with a calf laceration on Jan. 28, with the original outlook putting him out for about eight weeks. That would have put Fantilli’s return earlier this week on March 25, a milestone he was unable to hit.

In a quote regarding Fantill’s recovery process, head coach of the Blue Jackets, Pascal Vincent, said, “He’s still working on the recovery. I was really hoping to see him back before the end of the season. We don’t know yet. I still hope, but it’s slower than expected.“

If Fantilli is unable to return for Columbus this season, he will finish the year with 12 goals and 27 points in 49 games for the Blue Jackets. With many draft pundits putting Fantilli as the second-best prospect coming out of the 2023 NHL Draft, Fantilli did not show as much offensive prowess as expected throughout his first season in the NHL.

Nevertheless, there should not be any pessimism surrounding Fantilli’s future health, or his future talent level on the ice. At only 19 years old, the former Hobey Baker Award winner still has plenty of time to become an elite player for the Blue Jackets.

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