The Columbus Blue Jackets prospect squad will face the Detroit Red Wings in the Finals.
The Columbus Blue Jackets prospect team has advanced to the Traverse City tournament finals for the second year in a row. They will square off against the Detroit Red Wings at 7pm for the title on the west rink.
The Jackets were the only squad to complete round robin play undefeated as the Red Wings won the Ted Lindsay division going 2-1-0. The Jackets finished their round robin play Monday with a 4-1 bashing of the Carolina Hurricanes squad that boasted the second overall pick from this year’s draft, Andrei Svechnikov.
Through three games the CBJ have relied on scoring by committee. Nine different players have scored goals through the round robin action with 12 players racking up points. Kevin Stenlund and Sam Vigneault have paced the Jackets with three goals apiece.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Almost all of the scoring has come at even strength. The young Jackets have only one power play goal out of their 13 goals netted.
Free Agent Surprises
This team is comprised of only five players the Jackets have drafted and another five they have signed under contract. The rest are free agent invitees. A few have been nice surprises and have increased their chances of getting a contract from the CBJ or another organization.
Defenseman Jordan Sambrook, who was drafted by Detroit, is tied for the team lead in scoring. The 20-year-old will play in the OHL next season. Former Toronto pick, Nikita Korostelev also has looked solid in his two appearances with a goal and an assist. Korostelev spent the last three years in the OHL and is returning to the KHL this season.
Finally, although he hasn’t scored, Yegor Sokolov has had some impressive shifts in his two apperances. Yegor is a big winger, standing at six foot four and weights over 220 pounds. Sokolov, at 18-years-old, is one of the youngest players invited to this tournament and is set to return to the QMJHL next year.
Several of the Jackets top prospects in recent history, including Pierre-Luc Dubois, Vitaly Abramov, and Maxime Fortier have come from the Q. Don’t be surprised if Sokolov gets an entry level contract in February of 2019.
The Red Wings have a ton of talent, but inexperience on their team. Between Michael Rasmussen, Joe Velano, Filip Zadina and Jared McIssac, the Jackets are looking at four guys that should contribute at the NHL level this year. Detroit has only lost one game this tournament and is coming into the finals having just crushed another talented team, the New York Rangers, 5-0.
The Jackets are older and have experience on their side. If Matiss Kivlenieks is in net, the Jackets have a nice advantage in net as well. The Columbus Blue Jackets preach building a winning organization and it starts at the bottom with the prospects. They will not be taking this game lightly. Cleveland Monsters coach John Madden will be looking to win this game tonight and start the season out on a high note.
You can catch all of the action on the Fox Sports Go app at 7pm tonight.