Meyer makes NHL debut with Blue Jackets
April 4, 2022
by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com
This time, Carson Meyer's mom picked up on the first ring.
The Blue Jackets forward was recalled earlier this year, and when he called to tell his mother, Holly, she declined the call, telling Meyer that she would get back to him later.
Meyer didn't end up playing in that February game in Buffalo, but that will change this time around. The Powell, Ohio, native, AAA Blue Jackets alum and Ohio State product will make his NHL debut tonight at Nationwide Arena against Boston in what will be a special night not just for Meyer but the entire Columbus hockey community.
This time, he said his mom picked up on the first ring when he gave her the call yesterday, and he expects to have a big cheering section in his hometown barn for his debut tonight.
"It's that much more special," he said of debuting at home. "It's the rink I grew up coming to and cheering on the Blue Jackets, coming to so many games with my dad here. Now my dad is gonna be in the stands along with I don't even know how many family members are going to try to come in, but they're all gonna get to watch me tonight. It's hard to put into words."
So far on the season, Meyer has 16 goals and 27 points in 57 games with Cleveland of the AHL, and his focus in his second pro season has been to hone his game for the NHL level. While he was noted for his skill coming up the ranks including 17 goals in 36 games as a senior at Ohio State, Meyer has been told by the Jackets his ticket to the NHL will be to play hard and bring energy in the bottom six.
"He's earned his opportunity to get up here," head coach Brad Larsen said. "I think he's a guy that understands what he's going to have to do to play in the NHL. We were very clear on that when I talked to him in the exit meetings. It is an adjustment for him, I think, but he has to be hard on pucks, he has to be tenacious, he should be noticed with his energy.
"He does have some skill. I've seen it. I saw it in camp, but that's gotta be secondary to the foundation of I should notice him on the forecheck, his tacking, making sure the details are good within the structure, first."
Meyer will be slotted into the lineup on the fourth line with Eric Robinson and Brendan Gaunce, and while he said he's a bit nervous, he's hoping to approach the game like any other.
"I think pretty much just about every single guy in the locker room has taken me aside and said good luck, it's a special moment, have fun out there and don't be too nervous, stuff like that," Meyer said. "Everybody has been really supportive and excited for me, and I'm just excited as well."
The Blue Jackets also will get to see two returns as well with Zach Werenski back from injury after missing three games, while Larsen is back after missing the same three contests in COVID protocol.
"I feel great," Larsen said. "It's extremely strange when you're sitting on the couch watching it when you're supposed to be there. I was fortunate I had very mild symptoms, just kind of a bad cold for a couple of days. Last three days I've felt great. I was hoping to get out of this, and I was able to, so it's good to be back."