Columbus Blue Jackets draft candidate at fourth overall, Anton Silayev is hard to miss

Though he's raw and needs refinement, towering defenseman Anton Silayev has the kind of upside that teams salivate over. He will be a contender for the Blue Jackets with their 4th overall pick.
Torpedo Hockey Club player, Anton Silayev (21) seen in...
Torpedo Hockey Club player, Anton Silayev (21) seen in... / SOPA Images/GettyImages
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When the Blue Jackets step up to make their first pick of the draft later this month, a lot of things will be out of their control. Picking fourth overall means they will likely not get to draft the player they most covet - they'll have to see what falls into their laps.

That is, unless, the player they most covet is 6'7" Torpedo (KHL) defenseman Anton Silayev. Which, I have a hunch, may very well be the case.

If the Jackets were picking first overall, it would be absurd to say that they would pick anyone other than NCAA standout Macklin Celebrini. But that won't be happening, so I'll step out onto a limb and say that Anton Silayev may be appealing enough to be the second player on their list.

I could be entirely wrong, but there's something about Silayev that keeps screaming "Blue Jackets" to me. Maybe it's the fact that they're in great shape in every other archetype of prospect?

They have their future #1 center in Adam Fantilli. They could use a strong second line candidate, but all of the centers who will be available at this point in the draft come with big question marks (health, or size, or upside)...

They also have some really good quality defensemen both in the lineup and in the system. Zach Werenski will soon be joined by super prospects David Jiricek and Denton Mateychuk; and they have some depth options coming as well.

There aren't any goaltenders rated this high in the draft, which isn't uncommon. That's about the only thing they don't have their hands on right now - an obvious future starting goalie.

For these reasons, I keep circling back to Silayev, who could be the obvious piece missing from this puzzle. Even with all of the quality defense prospects the Blue Jackets have, there isn't one player that stands out as a future high end shutdown guy. That's what they could be getting here.

At 6'7" and over 200 pounds, Silayev would be one of the largest players in the entire NHL. And he's only recently turned 18 years old.

He played an entire season in the KHL this year, much of it as a 17 year old; which is a rare and impressive feat. Even more impressive, he did it without looking completely lost.

His offensive numbers don't jump off the page, but he's a near lock to be a top-10 (dare I say top-5?) pick later this month. Why is that? Let's break his game down on the next page.