Blue Jackets rookie Ryan Johansen still seems out of place on a checking line. But at least he's playing center, his natural position.
It's been an underwhelming and, at times, bizarre season for Johansen, the Blue Jackets' No. 4 overall pick in 2010. In 57 games, he's had nine goals, 10 assists and a minus-1 rating -- not awful numbers for a rookie -- but it's how he's been used that's raised eyebrows.
Johansen, viewed as a prototype No. 1 center in today's NHL, spent most of the season playing left or right wing on the fourth line. Either that, or he's been a healthy scratch by a Blue Jackets club that's been out of the postseason race since the second month of the season.
For the last five games, Johansen has centered the No. 4 line, but he was elevated to the checking line in advance of Sunday's 2-1 shootout win in Calgary.
"I'm 100 percent more comfortable (at center)," Johansen told The Columbus Dispatch. "The first game and a half (back at center), I felt off a little bit...