James Fisher, 6-2, 194 pounds
Belmont Hill (MA-HS)
7th round, #203 overall, 2022 NHL draft
Playstyle comparisons: Alex Killorn
NHL upside: Depth scoring winger
Professional ETA: ???
With their final selection of the 2022 NHL Draft, the Blue Jackets selected power forward James Fisher from Belmont Hill School in Massachusetts. Their seventh pick of the draft, Fisher is a bigger kid who is definitely a long-term project pick. But, it’s a low risk pick with a potential for high payout in the end.
Fisher scored 17 goals and added 11 assists for 28 points in 27 games for Belmont Hill, finishing second on the team in overall scoring. His 17 goals were five ahead of his next closest teammate, and his line was regarded as one of the best in all of prep hockey this past season.
When they played together, the line of Ronan O’Donnell, James Fisher, and Teddy Stiga was arguably the best line in prep hockey.
Already with an NHL frame, Fisher is a power forward who drives the net hard and scores goals in a variety of ways. He does a good job using his frame to ward off defenders and has a very good shot with a quick release. He’s a raw prospect who will need several years of development if he’s going to become an NHL player, but his natural scoring ability makes him more than worthy of a late round flyer.
Fisher is headed to Northeastern University this fall and will look to develop his game with the Huskies. If he can continue to score goals and develop the rest of his game at the collegiate level, he could become a force for the Blue Jackets right around the time their window of Cup contention opens up.
When you draft players this late in the draft, you try to find guys who have flown under the radar for one reason or another. Playing high school hockey puts some guys well off the map for a lot of scouting staffs, but the scouting staff in Columbus clearly sees upside in the budding power forward.
While seventh round picks are always risky for one reason or another, this looks like a pretty good low risk selection for the Blue Jackets. It will be interesting to see how he grows and produces over the next several years. Read: Jackets nab Jiricek 6th overall.