29 August, 2018
Hello Hockeyverse. I know it has been so long since I have last blogged, but now I have come back, with more rest and focus on getting the best work to you guys possible.
However, I am looking this year to continue my work with more than just the Blue Jackets, focusing on the entire league, and the other minor and developmental leagues.
Today, I will start and focus specifically and extensively on the Union Blue in Central Ohio.
The NHL Entry Draft was a very quiet time for the Blue Jackets this season, with underwheelming draft selections. This year, they had 6 draft selections. They had their own picks
in the first 3 rounds; their own sixth and seventh round picks; and Montreal's sixth round pick, which they got in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings. Columbus traded their own
5th round draft pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft for this year's sixth round pick of Montreal. They traded their own 4th round pick to the Nashville Predators in exchange for
center Mark Letestu. They also traded their own 5th round pick in this year's draft to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Saad/Panarin blockbuster last year. With the transactions
discussed, here were the players the Blue Jackets drafted.
Round 1-- 18th Overall-- C Liam Foudy (London Knights, OHL)
The Columbus Blue Jackets went off the draft boards with the selection of the 17 year old center. Foudy is a Canadian born center, with a strong athletic bloodline. Foudy's father
was a former Canadian Football League player, and his mother was an Olympic sprinter. Foudy had 45 points in 60 games this season. In Foudy's rookie year, he had 15 points in 58
games played. Foudy has signed a three year, entry level contract, being the first of the six draft selections to be under contract. Based off what I have heard and read about
Foudy, I project him as a middle 6 forward.
Round 2-- 49th Overall-- RW Kirill Marchenko (Khanty-Mansiysk 2, Russia Jr.)
The Blue Jackets selected productive Russian winger in the second round. Marchenko thrives against competition within his own age group, and has yet to play against proffessionals.
Marchenko has 42 points in 60 games played over his junior Russian hockey career. Last season, he had 16 points in 31 regular season games, and 7 points in 8 playoff games. With
other junior leagues and tournaments, where he represents his country, he is over a point per game in his career. Based off his statistics, he would be a great top 9 forward with
his own age group, but since he has no data against professionals, I project him as a bottom 6 forward.
Round 3-- 80th Overall-- LW Marcus Karlberg (Leskand Jr, Sweeden Jr)
In the third round, the Blue Jackets selected another productive international forward, this time from Sweeden. Karlberg's father, Mikael Karlberg, was a long time SHL forward,
playing for a decade and a half. My projection for Karlberg is a bottom 6 forward.
Round 6-- 159th Overall-- D Tim Berni (GCK Zurich, Swiss)
With the sixth round pick from the Canadiens, the Jackets selected Swiss defenseman Tim Berni from Switzerland. Berni is part of a family of hockey siblings and cousins, and in
the same age group as him, and beggining to play against professional players with the ZSC Lions. Berni is more of an international player, representing his country in multiple
tournaments since under 17 to under 20. My projection for Berni is an AHL Top 2 defenseman.
Round 6-- 173rd Overall-- G Veini Vehvilainen (Karpat, Finland)
With thier other pick in the sixth round, the Jackets dipped into GM Kekalainen's home country to select a netminder. The overager played his first year of professional hockey,
after spending three seasons with junior hockey, and posted a 92.5% save percentage in 35 games played, and a 1.89 goals against average. This shows he can hold the fort against
other professionals, but it is just a small sample size. I project Vehvilainen as an AHL starting goalie.
Round 7-- 204th Overall-- RW Trey Fix-Wolansky (Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL)
In the final round, the Columbus Blue Jackets selected an overage winger from the Oil Kings, who is over a point per game. Projection is a AHL Top 6 forward.
1. The Columbus Blue Jackets traded thier 5th round pick in 2019 to the Detroit Red Wings for a 2018 6th round pick(#159--Tim Berni)
2. The Columbus Blue JAackets traded center Jordan Schroder to the Chicago Blackhawks for goalie Jean-Francois Beurbe.
3. The Columbus Blue JAckets traded defenseman Jacob Graves and a conditional 6th round pick to the Arizona Coyotes for center Ryan MacInnis.
Free Agent Departures
1. LW Thomas Vanek signed with the Detroit Red Wings
2. RW Matt Calvert signed with the Colorado Avalanche
3. D Ian Cole signed with the Colorado Avalanche
4. D Jack Johnson signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins
5. D Cameron Gaunce signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning
6. D Taylor Chorney signed with NLA
7. G Jeff Zatkoff signed with DEL
Free Agent Acquasitions
1. RW Anthony Duclair-- signed a one year, $650K
2. D Tommy Cross-- signed a one year, $700K
3. D Dillion Simpson-- signed a two year, $675K per season
4. D Adam Clendenning -- signed a one year, $700K
5. C Reilly Nash-- signed a 3 year contract worth $2.75 million per season
Potential Lineup to Start the Season
LW C RW
Panarian Dubois Atkinson
Jenner Wennberg Bjorkstrand
Dubinsky Nash Foligno
Milano Sedlak Duclair
Prediction to Where They Finish
1st in the Wild Card
1. Panarian will be traded for futures
2. Duclair wil be sold high
3. Bobrovsky will sign a massive extension, but for less than Price.
What do you think of the Columbus Blue Jackets??
More to come...