As we reach the close of another NHL season, CBJ fans everywhere are anxiously anticipating the NHL Draft. It has become our annual end of June reason to gripe about something other than the team’s yearly disappointing play.
This year however, is different. Maybe it was the team’s incredible 19-5-5 run to end the season? Maybe it’s the infusion of Jarmo Kekalainen and John Davidson (JD) into the front office? Maybe it’s the abundance of first round picks? Whatever the reasoning, I’m busting at the seams waiting on this draft.
Now the question a lot of CBJ fans have been wondering, what to do with those three first round picks? Try to use them to trade up and draft the likes of a Jonathan Drouin or stand pat and load up on three players from a draft that experts are calling the deepest since the All-Star laden 2003 Draft. Currently the Blue Jackets own picks 14, 19, and 27 in the first round. The majority of people think it would take all three to move into the top 3 and draft a game changing player the quality of Drouin or Nathan MacKinnon. As much as I would love to see one of those guys put on a CBJ sweater, it could be too steep a price to pay. Let’s dig deeper and look at the other side.
The 2003 Draft produced the likes of Marc-Andre Fleury (looked better before these playoffs), Eric Staal, Nathan Horton, Nikolay Zherdev (Bazinga), Thomas Vanek, Ryan Suter, Dion Phaneuf (eye roll), Dustin Brown, Brent Seabrook, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, and Corey Perry.
Picks number 14, 19, and 27 would of netted Seabrook, Getzlaf, and Jeff Tambellini respectively. Now hindsight is 20/20, but if you could get Seabrook, Getzlaf, and Tambellini like prospects instead of trading all the picks away and taking a Drouin or MacKinnon would you? Now simple math tells you three are greater than one, but draft math can be fickle. Those three could turn into Hugh Jessiman, Zherdev, and Shawn Belle and the one could be Staal. Then the one mirrors a franchise stalwart, and the three resemble a pile of dung.
Jarmo and JD played integral parts in the rebuilding of the St. Louis Blues organization with the approach of drafting wisely and molding that talent. An approach that sounds similar to CBJ fans, the “brick by brick” approach.
We have also been jaded as a fan base with draft picks from hell like Zherdev, Alexandre Picard, Gilbert Brule, and Nikita Filatov in the 1st round. That being said this fan is going to stick to the approach that unless a proven All-Star type player is offered leading up to the draft, keeping the picks and standing pat would be the best option.
I’ve heard it since each was hired, In Jarmo and JD we trust. These guys were brought in to take this team to the pinnacle of the NHL. So let’s sit back and watch them take us there. As always CBJ fans let me know what you think the Blue Jackets should do come June 30th, 2013.