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Jackets sign Billy Sweezey


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Columbus Blue Jackets Sign Billy Sweezey

MARCH 7, 2022 AT 2:18 PM CDT | BY GAVIN LEE

All the hard work for Billy Sweezey has finally resulted in an NHL contract. The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed the undrafted defenseman to a two-year, two-way contract that will kick in for the 2022-23 season. Sweezey is currently playing for the Cleveland Monsters on an AHL contract.

 

In 2015-16, the 6’2″ Sweezey was an overage player for the USHL’s Chicago Steel, where he racked up 131 penalty minutes in 55 games, mostly there for his size and toughness. He took his talents to Yale after that and played four years, never scoring more than one goal in a single season. He’d leave college in 2020 with just three goals and 29 points in 127 games. Last season he played with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, where he once again was just a depth player scratching and clawing for playing time.

 

This year with Cleveland, that’s changed, at least somewhat. Sweezey, now 26, has four goals and ten points in 45 games to go along with 68 penalty minutes as one of the toughest defenders in the league.

 

Playing regular minutes, his size, strength, and physicality have now made him a legitimate call-up option for the Blue Jackets, though he won’t be eligible until next season.

 

A deal like this certainly isn’t a franchise-altering move, but it does reinforce that players can work their way up the Blue Jackets depth chart if they work hard enough. That helps encourage other undrafted talents to join the organization and meanwhile, provides some extra defensive depth for the NHL club.

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