The Columbus Blue Jackets announced early Friday morning that they’d be without defenseman Jack Johnson for a stretch of time, so it looks like prospect Michael Paliotta will get an opportunity to showcase his talents in the interim.
The Blue Jackets recalled Paliotta on Friday afternoon from the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters, bringing the 22 year old former third round draft pick up to the NHL for the first time this season.
Paliotta may not be a defenseman many Blue Jackets fans are familiar with just yet, but he shows promise. The four year University of Vermont alumnus is in just his first full season of pro hockey, and he boasts seven goals and 21 points – good for first among defenseman for Lake Erie – in his 50 AHL games played throughout the year. A native of Westport, Connecticut, Paliotta has seen his offensive contributions from the blue line increase at a decent clip over the last handful of years.
While the 22 year old defenseman doesn’t bring much in the way of NHL experience to Columbus – following his final year of hockey at Vermont, the right shot defenseman played just one NHL game with Chicago on the year – he could be a bright spot for the club over the back end of yet another losing season.