Atkinson will play for Team USA in the upcoming IIHF World Hockey Championships, Tom Reed of The Athletic Cleveland reports.
Atkinson pieced together a solid 2017-18 campaign when healthy, notching 46 points -- 24 goals and 22 assists -- along with 231 shots on goal and a career-best plus-19 rating over 65 contests. Still just 28 years old, Atkinson will travel to Denmark in the offseason before beginning the first year of a seven-year extension with the Blue Jackets during 2018-19.
Atkinson couldn't buy a goal in the last three games of the conference quarterfinals. He was blanked 16 times over that span and the lack of self-support led to a cumulative minus-6 rating through Games 3 and 6. Still, there's plenty of fantasy value in a guy who's recorded at least 21 goals and 40 points in five straight seasons, so don't let his playoff woes get in the way of the big picture when drafting this fall.
Atkinson scored two goals, including one on the power play, in a 5-4 overtime victory against the Capitals in Sunday's Game 2.
Despite playing 2:45 per game with the extra man during the regular season Atkinson only had three power-play goals and 10 power-play points. However, he already has two points with the extra man in the playoffs. He also has an 11-game point streak.
Atkinson (rest) will not play Saturday evening against the Predators, Rob Mixer of 1stOhioBattery.com reports.
Atkinson is healthy and merely getting some rest ahead of the playoff grind. The American winger posted 24 goals and 22 assists to supplement 10 power-play points over 65 games this season, but a foot injury over the winter prevented him from building upon his career-high 62-point mark established in 2016-17.
Atkinson scored two power-play goals while adding six shots, one hit and a minus-1 rating in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime win over the Red Wings.
He extended his point streak to eight games, and Atkinson has been a huge part of the Jackets' late-season surge, scoring 11 goals and 20 points in 17 games since the beginning of March. With the team still gunning for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, expect Atkinson to continue seeing big minutes and plenty of scoring opportunities over the final two games of the season.