The Columbus Blue Jackets made an important move by inking a key role player for the future. The Blue Jackets announced that forward, Derek Dorsett signed a three-year-contract extension through the 2014-2015 season.
Dorsett talked about his decision to continue his career in Columbus to Bluejackets.com. “After I signed, I was real excited and thought about all the things I’ve done to get to this point and where I’m at in my career. The other big thing I thought about was how much my family has helped me get to where I am and I couldn’t be happier.”
Dorsett had his best season offensively this year, contributing 20 points including twelve goalsnwhile primarily playing on the third line. His ice team increased as the new Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards took over midway through the season last year. Dorsett is a physical player who protects his teammates, racking up 235 penalty minutes last season. He is the third NHL player since 1996 to lead the league in penalty minutes while registering double digit goals.
Teammate, Vinny Prospal talked about the growth of Dorsett to Bluejackets.com. “This year, he improved so much and showed he can be a different kind of player. He has some finesse and finishing touch to his game. He was very, very reliable for us and brought so much effort. If I were a coach, I would say you wouldn’t have to worry about Dorse and how he’s going to play because it puts it all on the line every night.”
Dorsett was selected in the 2006 NHL entry draft in the seventh round by Columbus and has worked his way up to the National Hockey League. He talked about now St. Louis Blues head coach, Ken Hitchcock giving him a chance to become a mainstay in the lineup. “The Blue Jackets have given me every opportunity to play and they’ve put a lot of trust in me. Hitch was my first coach here in the NHL and he gave me the chance to play and I ran with it. Every coach I’ve had here has given me more and more responsibility and I think I’ve responded well to it. It’s a credit toward the guys who have given me those chances, and I feel very fortunate to be in the position I’m in.”
With all the roster additions near the end of the year, Dorsett is looking forward to next season. “There have been changes made in different areas and things like that. The last month of the season, the guys started to play the way we think we can, and the way we need to play in order to be a competitive team. We’ve brought new faces in like Jack Johnson, who are competitive guys that want to win. They play hard in all areas of the rink, and they’re going to help us be a competitive team now and in the future.”
Vinny Prospal gave a description of Dorsett that any team would like to see in their players. “He puts it all on the line for his team every single night.”
The Blue Jackets are in rebuild mode, but Dorsett is a player they can make part of their foundation. Dorsett is excited to begin next season with all the new faces. “The group of guys that we’ve got is great. It will be exciting to see what happens here in the next month or so with the draft and see what other kind of things go on. We’ve got a group that’s ready to compete and win, and it’s exciting to see the way the organization is going.”