Columbus Blue Jackets NHL Draft preview

The Columbus Blue Jackets have one of the deepest prospect pools in the NHL, but will need to transitioned its talent to the next level if they want to compete for a playoff spot. (Getty Images)

The Columbus Blue Jackets have one of many deepest prospect swimming pools within the NHL, however might want to transition its expertise to the subsequent degree in the event that they need to compete for a playoff spot. (Getty Photographs)

Columbus will decide sixth total after buying Chicago’s first-round decide. The Blue Jackets choose once more at twelfth for their very own slot. As the primary crew with two picks within the first spherical this 12 months, the Blue Jackets can have the chance to shake up the projected draft order both through commerce or by deciding on a participant of organizational want with extra threat. Columbus is already in an excellent place for the longer term, boasting one of many deeper prospect swimming pools within the league. That group is headlined by College of Michigan star, and 2021 fifth total decide, Kent Johnson. On the NHL degree, Columbus has younger gamers together with Cole Sillinger and Adam Boqvist on the core, however this season the crew solely managed mediocre outcomes. To count on Johnson or different prospects to step in and repair that instantly is an excessive amount of. Nonetheless, Columbus is headed in the proper course.

High Prospects

Kent Johnson, F – Apart from Patrick Laine, the Blue Jackets lack elite talent. With Johnson within the fold, the crew strikes nearer to rectifying that subject. Johnson is a playmaker at coronary heart, who will virtually definitely begin as Columbus’ second or third line heart this season. His capability to seek out seams and generate offence the place none appeared attainable is a expertise each crew covets. His efficiency this season with Michigan was dominant, nevertheless it’s the expertise he gained with Staff Canada on the Olympics and males’s World Championships that can maybe be most useful in Johnson’s transition to the NHL.

Daniil Tarasov, G – A 6’6” netminder who put up glorious numbers in 4 appearances with the Blue Jackets this season, Tarasov is destined for a season because the starter with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters. That destiny was sealed when Columbus re-signed Joonas Korpisalo for an additional season to function backup for Elvis Merzlikins. An important consider Tarasov’s improvement this season can be giving him begins. The 23-year-old solely appeared in 15 video games this previous season.

Kirill Marchenko, F – Some count on Marchenko to leap straight to the NHL subsequent season. He has the scale and has demonstrated talent on the Worldwide degree starring for Russia at each the U18s and World Juniors. Statistically, he had a slight regression within the KHL this season enjoying for SKA St. Petersburg. How he adjusts will decide if Machenko stays in Columbus or takes time within the AHL first. As a 2018 draft decide, Marchenko can be 22 when he arrives in camp.

One To Watch

Missed within the NCAA free agent frenzy was a shorter time period, smaller signing, with large potential. That participant was Nick Blankenburg, captain of the College of Michigan. A 5’9” defender, already 24-years-old, Blankenburg was undeniably one of many smoothest puck movers within the nation. With a much bigger body, NHL groups would have fought tooth and nail over the Michigan native. Getting into Columbus’ lineup on the finish of the season, Blankenburg used his greatest property – his mobility and intelligence – to defend, and was efficient. He had three factors in seven video games and was named to Staff USA for the World Championships. Jacob Christiansen is one other defender with offensive upside to observe. Signed as a free agent after junior, Christiansen this season was named to the AHL Second Staff All-Star, scoring 45 factors in 62 video games.

Prepared To Step In

Kent Johnson will get the headlines, nevertheless it’s Liam Foudy who will really feel the stress to start out the NHL season. The 18th total decide in 2018, it’s now or by no means for Foudy to step in and present his price. He confirmed his worth in 10 playoff video games in 2019-2020, however solely acquired right into a single NHL sport this previous season. Foudy has extra velocity than virtually anybody within the sport, however typically he takes away his personal time and house with that blinding tempo. When he turns his velocity round on opponents, whether or not it’s on the forecheck or rush, he’s efficient.

Wants At The Draft

Columbus has organizational depth in any respect positions however has a void at left wing. Whereas they’ve discovered success changing gamers to the place, a real scoring winger to flank Johnson sooner or later is a necessity. Whether or not it’s with their first or second selection of the opening spherical, gamers together with Frank Nazar, Cutter Gauthier, Jonathan Lekkerimäki, Matthew Savoie, Joakim Kemell, or Brad Lambert ought to be obtainable. With their different decide, Columbus may use one other defender to enhance the sturdy younger core they’re developed and have already got enjoying within the NHL.

Extra from Yahoo Sports activities

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