The highly anticipated day is fast approaching, that’s right the NHL Draft is only three days away! The team here at Union and Blue wanted to give our readers a little sneak peak into what we thought some of the possibilities that might present themselves to the Blue Jackets might be. As well as ultimately what we thought the Blue Jackets will end up doing when it is their time to shine come Sunday.
As I see it, the Blue Jackets have three solid options that could play out at the draft. They could trade up to get a player that they have fallen in love with during the draft process, they could keep all of their picks and select from a talented group of prospects, and lastly, they could trade some of their picks to acquire a NHL ready player who could help them immediately and in the future. Well buckle your seat belts, because here we go.
If Jarmo Kekalainen fell in love with a player during this arduous process leading up to the draft there is definitely a possibility he could package one of their first round picks with a prospect or another pick to move up a couple of spots and nab his guy. A few players I think he should take a look at in this situation is Max Domi, Hunter Shinkaruk, or Elias Lindholm.
Now one of these players could fall to the Blue Jackets with the 14th overall selection, but in most experts minds these players will be drafted before the Blue Jackets pick at fourteen. The Blue Jackets could package the 14th and 27th selections to try and move up a couple of spots to take one of these talented forwards. Another possibility is using the fourteenth pick and a prospect say David Savard to move up the few spots to snatch a prospect they covet.
The second option is keeping every pick they currently own and stick to Jarmo’s draft philosophy of taking the best available player at that time. If this is the tactic that the Blue Jackets want to use they could end up with a haul of 50 goal scorer Anthony Mantha at 14, Bo Horvat at 19 and a familiar face to the Blue Jackets second overall selection in the 2012 draft Ryan Murray, his line mate in the WHL Mirco Mueller at 27.
This scenario is the most likely of the three to happen in my humble opinion. With how loaded this 2013 draft is it is just too tempting to do anything other than stock up on three prospects who could eventually turn into All-Stars for years to come on this team.
Now there is always the possibility of a monkey wrench being thrown into things and the Blue Jackets getting a call before one or more of their picks and a GM offering them a NHL ready scorer who could help right away as well as be another brick for this team to build upon.
In the first installment Mark Huss described such a situation with the scenario of Buffalo continuing their rebuild project and unloading Thomas Vanek . With Vanek’s scoring prowess this would be a deal that would have to make Jarmo think about pulling that trigger. Now a dark horse in this scenario could be Bobby Ryan of Anaheim. Supposedly the Ducks have been quietly shopping him in the last week leading up to the draft.
If Jarmo and the Blue Jackets can pull this off it will likely take the 14th and 19th picks along with a prospect. As long as that prospect isn’t Boone Jenner or Ryan Murray I could get on board with that. This however is the longest of long shots so try to not get your hopes up. If Jarmo can get that deal done without mortgaging the future, you might as well start building his statue outside of Nationwide Arena yesterday.
Sunday can not get here fast enough, and here’s to hoping that Sunday is not a day of rest in Columbus and we have a lot to cheer about come Monday. I would like the water cooler GM’s buzzing with what the Blue Jackets pulled off in Jarmo Kekalainen’s first draft as general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets. As always please let me know what you think CBJ nation, and tell me how you think it is going to go down on Sunday.