Atkinson came up empty on a game-high seven shot attempts in Friday's 2-0 win over the Rangers at home.
Having signed a seven-year, $40.25 million contract extension Thursday, Atkinson looked poised to show that he's worth every penny in this contest, but he ended up stretching his goalless streak to six games. Still, the heavy shot volume salvaged his night in daily fantasy leagues, where every bit of production was critical on the two-game slate. He'll resume hunting for that elusive fifth goal in Monday's road game against the Sabres.
Atkinson set career highs in goals (35), assists (27), shots on goal (240) and power-play points (21) in 82 games last season, so it was really just a matter of time until the Blue Jackets signed him to an extension. He's had a slow start to the campaign, notching four goals and two assists in 15 games, but he's locked into a role skating on Columbus' first line and top power-play unit, so his offensive production will likely begin to improve as the season wears on. The 2008 sixth-round pick will be 35 when his contract expires in 2024-25, so he should remain a desirable fantasy asset for the duration of his new deal.
That counts as the first point through four games for the American winger since his activation from injured reserve. He's amassed 50 shots in 15 games this season, so it's quite disappointing to see Atkinson with only four goals, but a little more puck luck and he could easily undo what's been a career-low 8.0 shooting percentage.
Atkinson (lower body) has been activated from injured reserve and will draw into the lineup for Tuesday night's matchup with the Predators, Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports.
Atkinson will make his return to game action after missing the last four contests with the ailment. The Connecticut native has gotten off to a slow start in the current campaign, posting five points, including just one assist, in his first 11 games, but he's still likely to maintain his top-six role and prominent position on the Jackets' power play. Look for him to get back on track against a Nashville squad that has been known to struggle on the road.
Atkinson (lower body) was placed on injured reserved Sunday, retroactive to Oct. 28.
With the designation being made as of Oct. 28, Atkinson is technically available to return against the Rangers on Monday. However, the 5-foot-8 winger didn't join his team on the current road trip, so the earliest he could return is Tuesday against Nashville. For now, there's no official timetable for Atkinson's return.