Cam Atkinson expects the high ankle sprain he suffered in January to irritate him until he can fully rest it this summer. But the right winger is feeling better, that much is obvious.

Atkinson was the most dynamic player on the ice on Thursday in the Blue Jackets’ 6-4 loss to Edmonton, which is loaded with young talent such as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov.

The way Atkinson changed directions and gears was noticeably different than the way he was forced to play until recently. Playing on a line with left winger Matt Calvert and center Artem Anisimov, Atkinson had two goals, an assist and a career-high nine shots on goal, one short of the franchise record shared by many.

His night started with a goal only 10 seconds into the game.

“I felt good out there, and our line was really going,” Atkinson said after the game. “We should play like that every night.”

Atkinson nearly had his second career hat trick with 3:15 remaining, but Oilers goaltender Deven Dubnyk used his right pad to rob Atkinson’s shot.

Coach Todd Richards said he hasn’t spoken to Atkinson about his ankle, but his eyes tell him all he needs to know.