Columbus Blue Jackets 18-19 Prospect Expectations: Vitaly Abramov

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 23: Vitaly Abramov
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 23: Vitaly Abramov /

The highly regarded Russian prospect didn’t make the Columbus Blue Jackets roster out of camp.

Mark it down folks. The first and only time I’ve ever been wrong. About Vitaly Abramov. Making the Columbus Blue Jackets squad. In 2018.

Ok, so I missed a little on my prediction that Abramov would start of the year with the team but after observing training camp it wasn’t that crazy of an idea.

Yes, Vitaly was cut on September 24th and sent down to the AHL but it isn’t the end of the world for the forward. Nor should it be the end of the hype around Abramov’s future. It was clear from training camp that Abramov needs a year in the AHL and that was going to be needed whether he was 100% healthy or not.

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Abramov had a shoulder injury that kept him away from the Traverse City tournament where he would have been one of the most experienced players participating. Although he didn’t have the best training camp ever, he has set himself up to be a big contributor on a Cleveland Monster team that should be much improved.

The problem for Abramov and the NHL this season is that the Jackets have a ton of forward depth. He is likely the fifth or even sixth forward that would be called up to the NHL squad in case of injury.

Vitaly should expect to spend the year in the AHL. He will have every opportunity in Cleveland to show he can compete in the professional ranks and show off his scoring acumen. Abramov should get plenty of power play time and be a top six forward for the Monsters.

The only thing that will hold Abramov back his his play away from the puck. It has been drilled into Abramov by the organization that that and some size are the things holding him back. A year in the AHL is exactly what the young forward needs to improve his game.

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If Abramov stays healthy and finds himself on the power play regularly, there is no reason why he can’t bust into the AHL and put up at least 35 points. He has all the skill and speed in the world to score at any level. The question is whether or not he has developed the 200-foot game necessary to play in a John Tortorella led organization.