The big club may be off to a poor start at 1-3, but this franchise still eyes a brighter future with better days ahead. Loaded with quality NHL prospect playing all over the world, the only thing we have to do now is wait for them to marinate and become ready for the big league. Periodically we’ll take a look at the prospect pool and provide updates – both individual and in summary.
First up, we have four NCAA prospects, including 2022 7th round pick James Fisher. Committed to Northeastern University beginning next season, he’s currently skating with the Youngstown Phantoms (USHL), where he’s been held scoreless through 4 games. He’ll be a longer term prospect, but he has a big frame and good scoring ability that could make him a poor man’s Josh Anderson.
Defenseman Aidan Hreschuk just began his sophomore season with Boston College, where he’ll look to improve upon his 8 point campaign as a freshman. Originally a third round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes, Hreschuk was the player returned in the Max Domi trade. Though undersized, the California native is good on both sides of the puck and, quietly, could be a player to watch as he develops at the collegiate level.
The scouting staff for the Blue Jackets has to be ecstatic over the development of Guillaume Richard, who is under the radar, but is becoming a very good offensive defenseman. He put up 3 goals and 14 points, along with a +18 rating as a freshman at Providence College last season. Through three games this fall, he has just one assist, but seems to have picked up right where he left off.
The top prospect at the college level is not up for debate. Corson Ceulemans returns to Wisconsin for his sophomore season, having tied for the team lead in scoring … as a freshman defenseman. But he’s not all offense; Corson is a high end skater who uses his speed and size to out-maneuver players and win puck battles. It will be interesting to see how his season goes, as the expectation is that he’ll turn pro after this season. He looks like a really good one.
Ben Boyd makes the jump to St Mary’s and will skate at the college level in Canada this season. He has one assist through his first three games, after scoring 14 goals and 26 points through 75 career games in the QMJHL. He’s a big body who likes to play physical and mix it up. Whether or not he has NHL upside is the question here.