Columbus Blue Jackets forward Kent Johnson will not play Thursday night due to upper-body injury

      Johnson was injured Wednesday night against the Rangers.

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      A tough blow for a team already struggling to find offense, and one of its young stars.

      The Columbus Blue Jackets announced forward Kent Johnson will miss the team’s clash with the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night due to an upper-body injury.

      According to the team, Johnson suffered the injury during the Blue Jackets’ 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

      It is not clear how much time the former Michigan Wolverine will miss, as Johnson is currently listed as out indefinitely.

      According to reports, Alexandre Texier might check into the lineup against the Hurricanes. Whether that means Texier fills Johnson’s spot in the third line with Cole Sillinger and Alex Nylander, or Justin Danforth is moved up from the fourth line, Columbus will have a different look to their bottom six.

      Johnson has been playing a lot of minutes since getting recalled by the Jackets in late November. While he had a pretty good month of December, scoring four goals and five assists in 14 games, the 21-year-old has cooled off over the last couple of months, registering just one helper in five appearances in February.

      In 42 games, the Port Moody, British Columbia native has six goals and 10 assists. In 130 career games, Johnson has amassed 22 goals and 37 assists.

      Johnson is in the final year of his three-year entry-level contract with the Blue Jackets, carrying a $925,000 cap hit, and is set to be a restricted free agent at the end of this season.

      After facing the Canes on Thursday, the Blue Jackets (19-29-10) pay a quick visit to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. Columbus is currently at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division, and the Eastern Conference, but are 13 points above the Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks for the worst record in the NHL.

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