In a thrilling NHL preseason showdown on Saturday, TJ Oshie of the Washington Capitals delivered a memorable hit on Columbus Blue Jackets’ top forward prospect, Adam Fantilli. The hit, which occurred in the second period, sent Fantilli’s stick soaring into the air and turned a previously calm game into a heated contest.
Fantilli, the third overall pick in the 2023 draft, fumbled the puck at center ice. As he went to collect it, he was met with a textbook, shoulder-to-chest body check from Oshie, marking Fantilli’s “Welcome to the NHL” moment. The hit was clean and perfectly executed, demonstrating Oshie’s skill and experience.
T. J. Oshie welcomes Adam Fantilli to the NHL. 😳 pic.twitter.com/TiuZr7LFkD
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 8, 2023
The Blue Jackets were not pleased with Oshie’s hit on their budding star. At the next whistle, team captain Boone Jenner went after Oshie, causing a fracas behind the Caps net. This led to Alex Ovechkin and Erik Gudbranson serving matching minor penalties for roughing.
The tension didn’t end there. Just over a minute later, Jenner started more trouble. After Darcy Kuemper made a routine save in the final seconds of the period, Jenner skated by and gave the Caps number one netminder a late tap on his glove. This time, Tom Wilson was on the ice for the Caps and intervened, attempting to drop the gloves with Jenner. However, the on-ice officials halted the melee before it could really start.
Despite the hit and the ensuing chaos, both Fantilli and Oshie managed to register one assist each in the game. The Blue Jackets ultimately triumphed over the Capitals, scoring three unanswered goals in the third period to win their preseason finale by a score of 4-2.
This incident has certainly added a dash of excitement to the preseason, setting the stage for an intense regular season. As Fantilli navigates his rookie year in the NHL, he’ll undoubtedly remember his encounter with Oshie. Meanwhile, Oshie, a veteran player, has shown that he still has the ability to make a significant impact on the ice.