Columbus Blue Jackets Draft candidate at 4th overall, Cayden Lindstrom could be a dream fit

If the first three picks of the draft shake out as many expect, Cayden Lindstrom should be available for the Blue Jackets when they step up to the podium. He could be exactly what we're looking for.
Medicine Hat Tigers v Winnipeg Ice
Medicine Hat Tigers v Winnipeg Ice / Jonathan Kozub/GettyImages
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The Blue Jackets feel pretty comfortable about Adam Fantilli as their future #1 center. As well they should, he has everything you want in a top line pivot: size, speed, skill, and compete level.

One big question still exists for this club, however. Who is going to center the line behind him?

The Jackets have some really good young centers in the system. Cole Sillinger, Dmitri Voronkov, Luca del bel Belluz, and maybe even Gavin Brindley could develop into that mold. To this point, however, each of them come with different question marks; and none of them have shown consistently that they can reach that level. At least not yet.

For that reason, with another top-5 pick at their disposal, why wouldn't the Jackets take a crack at someone like Cayden Lindstrom?

Like Fantilli, Lindstrom has all of the tools to become a top-two center in the NHL. At 6'4 and already approaching 220 pounds, Lindstrom has a pro-ready frame. He just turned 18 in February, so I expect him to keep growing(!).

Unlike a lot of players with that size, he has speed and very good edge work (again, like Fantilli). He combines that size and speed to create space for himself, whether it's in front of the net, cycling along the boards, or off the rush - he's a dangerous player any time he's on the ice.

Lindstrom has a rare combination of abilities that allows him to beat an opponent down the wing with his speed; or bull his way to the net, using his strength to keep a defender from pushing him off the puck. In those traits, he reminds me a little bit of Rick Nash.

I think Lindstrom would be an absolute lock to go in the top-four of this year's draft, if not for the injury troubles he ran into this season. He missed time due to a broken hand early in the year - then missed more time due to a back injury suffered later in the season.

There will be questions about his health moving forward (back injuries can be scary), but if teams feel comfortable with his health; he's going to hear his name called very early in next month's draft.

Could he be the fourth overall pick? My verdict on the next page.