Columbus Blue Jackets draft candidate at 4th overall, Berkly Catton is a highly skilled center

Berkly Catton may be undersized, but his skill and offensive ceiling make him an intriguing potential choice for the Blue Jackets at fourth overall.
Spokane Chiefs v Winnipeg Ice
Spokane Chiefs v Winnipeg Ice / Jonathan Kozub/GettyImages
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Berkly Catton is a home-run swing. His ceiling is incredibly high - and, honestly, I don't think his floor is as low as some assume.

With that comment in mind, what makes Catton a fringe top-5 or 7 pick, rather than a guy who is viewed as a potential franchise guy?

There isn't one "elite" trait here. This isn't a guy who has Connor Bedard's shot, or Kent Johnson's hands, or Connor McDavid's speed, or Adam Fantilli's size and skating. Catton is simply "really good" at all of these things.

I don't see him being a dominant, 100 point player at any point in his career. Nor do I see him potting 50 goals. But, I think he can drive a top-six line, not hurt his team defensively, and take important faceoffs while playing on both special teams units. And, he should still be able to contribute at a point-per-game or better average.

For those reasons, he may not be a "franchise altering" talent ... but I think Catton could be a 15 year pro who does his job well without a lot of praise or accolades. He's just going to need time. One (or maybe even two) more years in junior will not hurt him. He may need AHL time as well.

Keeping his confidence high while allowing him to fill out physically, and round out the finer points of his game, could bring out the most in this player. If I had to make comparisons to other NHL players, I think my favorite one would be Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - but maybe with a little bit lower offensive ceiling.

Another good one, if you've watched the game for a long time: Marc Savard. Think along those lines, a good top-six player who probably won't ever be the guy, but can definitely hold his own offensively, and be a matchup nightmare in the right situation.

As far as my verdict? Selfishly, I love this pick. I spent 18 years covering hockey from Spokane. I know the ins and outs of the organization, the building, and a lot of the fans. It would be easy for me to watch Catton develop; and I consider myself a big fan of the Chiefs. Call it a homer pick.

But make no mistake about it. This is a guy with top-5 potential in this draft, all homer picks aside. He could be the center we need to play behind Adam Fantilli.