Columbus Blue Jackets: Markus Nutivaara Best Pick of 2015 NHL Draft

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 17: Markus Nutivaara
COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 17: Markus Nutivaara /

Take it easy Edmonton fans, I’m not saying he’s better than Connor McDavid. I am saying the Columbus Blue Jackets had the best value pick in the 2015 draft.

Connor McDavid was a no brainer pick. Same with the next ten picks. All have proven to be solid to incredible NHL talents. Including the Columbus Blue Jackets pick at number eight, Zach Werenski.

But what we have seen out of Markus Nutivaara is just incredible. The 189th overall pick has done nothing but score 16 points through 88 games in his career, good for 16th best out of all 211 players drafted in 2015. Out of the 15 ahead of him, 13 were first rounders, and the other two were taken at 35th and 37th. Thats only a difference of 152 picks between Nuti and the lowest drafted player above him in the scoring charts.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets /

Columbus Blue Jackets

He is the only player drafted in rounds six or seven to make it to the NHL yet. He is the only player picked south of #37 to play more than 82 games (a full NHL season). Sure he was 21 when drafted but there were 29 other teams that didn’t even through a fourth, fifth, or sixth round pick for this production.

And he has done more than just played. He has played at a high level allowing the CBJ to have one of the best, if not best, third pairing in the NHL this season thus far alongside of Ryan Murray.

Markus Nutivaara had a solid corsi for his first season in the NHL last year posting a 49.6%. That has rose to a healthy 53.1% this season. Having a player drive possession from the back end at that percent on the third pair has been crucial to keeping the Columbus Blue Jackets atop the Metro Division. Especially as the offense struggles to score.

The third pairing of Nuti and Murray has been a major reason why this team has succeed thus far. Winning in tight one goal games, like the Jackets are doing, requires an above average third pair that can keep up with any of the opponents lines.

Next: Calvert Returns

All of this for a seventh round pick. Remarkable. Jarmo Kekelainen’s crown jewel of the 2015 draft will always be Zach Werenski. But his best pick will likely be taking Markus Nutivaara in the seventh round. If he does nothing more in his career, he will have been well worth the seventh round pick.