Basically Lansing minus the hat. And sweater. And glasses and beard. Ok, basically just the ice cold beverage in his hand.
What Jacket has surprised you the most so far?
Anthony Duclair for sure. The Duke has been a great surprise after two seasons of disappointment. He has treated this training camp like a do-or-die opportunity and it clearly shows.
He’s looked very fast and competes really hard in the corners. He has held his own in the defensive zone as well. Duclair at this point is a lock to make the team this year in my eyes.
Throw Adam Clendening in too as a player that has surprised me. The free agent signing has made a huge impact and has pushed his way into the final d-man conversation along with Scott Harrington, Dean Kukan and Gabriel Carlsson.
Conversely, who has been the most disappointing?
I haven’t pinned it down yet if it was his own play, or that other defenseman have just looked better but I was hoping to see more from Gabriel Carlsson. Its greedy to ask for three NHL defenseman in one single draft (2015) but the former first round pick hasn’t shown it yet.
After dealing with an injury last season I expected Carlsson to come into camp and really push for the final spot as a Jackets defenseman. Now, it looks like he will be heading to Cleveland for another season with the Monsters.
What are your predicted opening night lines and pairings?
It seems pretty apparent what the roster will look like minus the final defenseman slot. I give the slight nod to Kukan over Clendening for the 6th defenseman.
Panarin – Dubois – Atkinson
Foligno – Wennberg – Bjorkstrand
Jenner – Dubinsky – Anderson
Duclair – Nash – Milano
Jones – Werenski
Murray – Nutivaara
Kukan – Savard
I think the team ends up carrying Clendening and Harrington for a bit on the roster pushing out another forward to Cleveland.