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Columbus demotes ’10 first-rounder Johansen to AHL

Feb 6, 2013, 11:43 AM EDT

On Wednesday, the Blue Jackets sent center Ryan Johansen to AHL Springfield.

Johansen, 20, was the Columbus’ first-round pick — fourth overall — at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. The former Portland Winter Hawks standout debuted for the Blue Jackets last season, scoring 9G-12A-21PTS in 67 games, and had two assists through 10 games this season.

It’s unclear exactly why the Jackets made this move.

Johansen was averaging over 15 minutes per contest and, in last night’s 4-2 loss to Los Angeles, played 16:18 and went 8-for-9 in the faceoff circle (granted, he finished minus-2 on the night.)

Here’s more, from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch:

This isn’t the first time Columbus has come under, ahem, “scrutiny” for its handling of young prospects.

Derick Brassard, the club’s first-round pick in 2006, appeared to be at loggerheads with the organization during the 2011-12 season when player agent Alan Walsh posted a tirade on Twitter aimed at then-Columbus head coach Scott Arniel.

The club also made some waves prior to the season when it decided not to keep prospects Boone Jenner and Tim Erixon up with the parent club, dispatching Jenner to the OHL and Erixon to Springfield.

Erixon was later recalled to the NHL after a rash of injuries to Columbus’ defense.

Update: More, from Portzline…

Johansen played 16:43 against the Avs in a 4-0 loss, finished minus-2, had three shots on goal and went 12-for-21 in the faceoff circle.

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    Columbus looking at options with Johansen not at camp.

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