The Columbus Blue Jackets traded up to the 29th spot and drafted Gabriel Carlsson.
It’s easy to say the Columbus Blue Jackets should’ve taken Sebastian Aho 29th overall in the 2015 NHL entry draft, however even if they wanted to take a defenseman regardless of the forwards available there was still a better option.
The Toronto Maple Leafs drafted Travis Dermott 34th overall, with one of the picks they acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in the trade for the 29th overall pick.
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I personally expected Dermott’s name to be the one called by Jarmo Kekalainen and Ville Siren when they took the podium late in the first round. Instead, they took a Swedish defenseman whose numbers weren’t stellar but showed defensive promise in Gabriel Carlsson.
Carlsson has been a question mark for the Jackets, especially after being passed on the organizational depth chart by Markus Nutivaara and potentially a few others. Dermott meanwhile, has continued to shine with Toronto, both on the Marlies and Maple Leafs.
Dermott is much more offensive than Carlsson, but he also is a solid defender in his own zone. His play seems like the definition of a two-way defenseman. His play reminds me somewhat of a Mark Giordano type player, however Dermott is a little more physical.
Dermott’s value in the draft should’ve been higher, however general managers and scouts were probably thinking his numbers were inflated in junior due to being on the Connor McDavid and Dylan Strome Erie Otters. Dermott has proven that was not the case and is on his way to becoming a great NHL level defenseman.
At 21 years of age, he’s still finding his way into the league but it’ll be sooner rather than later that he’ll be a star and he could’ve been a Columbus Blue Jacket. Instead, the Jackets will have to face him four times a year which makes their lives much harder.