Columbus Blue Jackets: Prospect Preview
The Columbus Blue Jackets have surpassed the point of rebuilding and are in the waiting period as their prospects develop. The Jackets have tons of prospects highlighted by Alexander Wennberg, Sonny Milano, Kerby Rychel and Ryan Murray.
Below is the Columbus Prospect Depth Chart. Though the definition of a prospect is not defined, to me a prospect is below the age of 26, and under 100 games played in the NHL, or 50 games for a goaltender. Yes this means some of the more solidified young guns make the cut, but until they have shown a good enough sample size to prove their worth is consistent they should still be deemed a prospect. Players have flopped in their sophomore seasons before.
COLUMBUS PROSPECT DEPTH CHART
Left Wing – Center – Right Wing
Alexander Wennberg (Euro) – Boone Jenner (Pro) – Marko Dano (Euro)
Kerby Rychel (CHL) – Sonny Milano (Junior) – Oliver Bjorkstrand (CHL)
Jerry D’Amigo (Pro) – T.J. Tynan (Pro) – Simon Hjalmarsson (Euro)
Corey Tropp (Pro) – Michael Chaput (Pro) – Josh Anderson (CHL)
Paul Thompson (Pro) – Peter Quenneville (CHL) – Daniel Zaar (Euro)
Ryan Murray (Pro) – Tim Erixon (Pro)
Dalton Prout (Pro) – Mike Reilly (NCAA)
Dillon Heatherington (CHL) – Ryan Collins (Junior)
Thomas Larkin (Pro) – Will Weber (Pro)
Oscar Dansk (CHL)
Anton Forsberg (Euro)
Elvis Merzlikins (Euro)
The Columbus Blue Jackets could see plenty of players make the jump this year. The Jackets have a very open roster and will likely see players being shuffled around between the AHL and NHL. Boone Jenner, Corey Tropp, Dalton Prout and Ryan Murray all saw plenty of action last year and likely will again this year. Kerby Rychel, Marko Dano and Alexander Wennberg will all likely see time this year too. Simon Hjalmarsson looked very good in Sweden over the last couple years and likely will play NHL this year.
Columbus picked up the aforementioned Hjalmarsson this offseason and then grabbed a handful of draft picks including Sonny Milano (1st – 16th), Ryan Collins (2nd – 47th), Elvis Merzlikins (3rd – 76th), Blake Siebenaler (3rd – 77th), Julien Pelletier (4th – 107th), Tyler Bird (5th – 137th), and Olivier Leblanc (7th – 197th).
Simon Hjalmarsson finished last year with 57 points (27 goals) in 55 games while playing for Linkoping in Sweden. He also recorded 5 points in 20 games while playing for Sweden in the World Championships the last couple years. The 25-year-old could surprise many in the NHL this year. Josh Anderson just finished his last year with the London Knights of the OHL this past season. The right-winger joined the Knights as a walk-on and surpassed all expectations and then was drafted by the Blue Jackets in the 4th round, 95th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The power forward continued to set bars for his fellow players as he has now played for Team Canada and in the Memorial Cup for 3 straight years. Josh Anderson will be a player to watch to see what he really can do.