COLUMBUS, OHIO USA Hockey announced today that Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson and right wing Cam Atkinson are among the first group of 17 players selected to represent Team USA at the 2012 IIHF World Championships, which will take place May 4-20 in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.
Johnson, 25, was acquired by the Blue Jackets along with a conditional first round pick from Los Angeles in exchange for Jeff Carter on February 23. He combined to register 12 goals and 26 assists for 38 points and 39 penalty minutes in 82 games with the Blue Jackets and Kings. He set career highs in goals, power play goals (five) and game-winning goals (four), led Columbus in game-winning goals, ranked second in power play goals and was tops among club defensemen in goals, assists and points. The Indianapolis, Indiana native has represented the United States at the 2010 Olympic Games (silver medal), 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2007 World Championships, 2007 (bronze medal) and 2006 World Junior Championships and the 2005 (gold medal) and 2004 (silver medal) World Under-18 Junior Championships.
Atkinson, 22, will be playing in the World Championships for the first time. Playing in his first full professional season in 2011-12, he collected 7-7-14, 14 penalty minutes and was 1 in 27 games with the Blue Jackets this season. The Riverside, Connecticut native became the third rookie in club history to record a hat trick when he scored three goals at Colorado on April 5. In 50 games with the Springfield Falcons, Columbus American Hockey League affiliate, he tallied 29-15-44, 31 penalty minutes and was 4 and was selected to play in the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic. He was the Blue Jackets eighth pick, 157th overall, in the 2008 Entry Draft.
Sixteen teams will compete at the 2012 IIHF Mens World Championships beginning May 4. There will be two groups of eight with one group playing in Helsinki, Finland and the other playing in Stockholm, Sweden. The semifinals and medal games will be played in Helsinki. NBC Sports Network is scheduled to televise all Team USA games at the World Championships. A final broadcast schedule will be available in the near future.
The 2013 NHL All-Star Game is coming to Columbus Jan. 26-27, 2013. Fans can guarantee access to seats for both the game and Skills Challenge now by reserving a full or partial season ticket plan for the Blue Jackets 2012-13 season. Ticket plans start at less than 15 per game. In addition to guaranteed access to All-Star tickets, full and partial-season ticket holders receive a number of great benefits including significant savings versus single-game prices; the best available seat locations; exclusive access to events with players and coaches; and priority access to tickets for most other events at Nationwide Arena and the Jerome Schottenstein Center. For more information, call (800) NHL-COLS or visit BlueJackets.com.