Jun 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Seth Jones is interviewed during a press conference for top prospects for the upcoming 2013 NHL Draft at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Morning Skate: 6/19/13

Welcome to the 2013 NHL Draft Edition of the Morning Skate!

You may or may not have noticed throughout the broadcast of game three of the Stanley Cup Final, but four of the elite prospects going into this years draft attended the game. Earlier during the day, the four prospects also had the opportunity to meet some of the players from each of the two teams. The four prospects included; Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, and Darnell Nurse. Read more about their day and experience at the Stanley Cup Final at NHL.com.

I know you have read this 1,000 times, but I am going to repeat it, and probably write it 10 more times before the draft; the Columbus Blue Jackets go into this draft with three draft picks in the first round. Yes I said it, three! With picks 14, 19, and 27, Jarmo Kekalainen will have plenty of opportunity to find the right “bricks” for the team. Jarmo told NHL.com this..

I think you’ll find a lot of opinions; there are a lot of good prospects at the top and at the end of the day, everyone is going to make their own decision, but it’s probably closer this year than in some of the other years,” Kekalainen said. “When it’s close, and especially with the multiple picks we have, a tiebreaker could be selecting a position of need. As a principle, though, I would always take the best player available.

Jarmo is very simple in his approach to the draft, (I am sure that it is more complex than it sounds though) the best player will be drafted. Kekalainen may not go by what the Blue Jackets necessarily need now, but rather who he and the Blue Jackets feel is the best possible option on the board at the moment. Jarmo explains his theory with NHL.com more…

Your needs might change by the time that player is ready to contribute for your team,” he said. “It usually takes four to five years. Suppose one draft year we are in need of a defender, and we choose a defender. But what happens in four to five years when we all of a sudden have a completely different picture with our team?

Makes complete sense to me, and I think this is the start of something great for the Blue Jackets. After June 30th, the Columbus Blue Jackets could potentially have three prospects that are very close to contributing at an NHL level, and if they aren’t, there will be a slow and steady approach to the players, to further address the skills needed to succeed at the highest level.


Charging Through The Headlines:

Jun 2, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) controls the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period in game two of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports



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