Columbus Blue Jackets draft candidate at fourth overall, Sam Dickinson is a toolsy defenseman who can skate

if the Blue Jackets decide to draft a defenseman with their first round pick this month, Sam Dickinson has the tools to be a real good one.
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Sam Dickinson is a strong two-way defenseman, with size and excellent skating. So, why isn't he the obvious pick here?

In short, if the Blue Jackets take Sam Dickinson at fourth overall; I would hate to look back in 4 or 5 years and say "he's good ... but why didn't we take the other guy?".

I think Dickinson is going to be an NHL player, but my fear here is that someone is going to rush him to the NHL. And, that's the wrong move in my opinion. He has the tools, the skating, and obviously a pro-ready frame:

But, I think the difference between him becoming a top-three guy or a bottom-three guy, is in his development. His offensive game is hampered by the occasional shift where he tries to do too much with the puck. While his skating can make up for mistakes at the junior level; the NHL is an entirely different animal.

He'll need to weed out the odd glaring mistake and polish his overall game before turning pro. He won't be able to turn on the jets and burn NHL players each and every shift. While he has a generally solid hockey IQ; developing that part of his game more - while keeping his offensive confidence high - is crucial to Dickinson's development.

With all of that said, if you believe in his ability to round out his game and carry his offense over to the NHL, this is an Alex Pietrangelo type of player. He could turn into a two-way beast in the NHL, who drives play at both ends of the rink.

The thing I keep coming back to, though, is the other guys who will be available around him. If Anton Silayev develops as he should, he's a better option. If Zayne Parekh develops as he should, he's a better option. And, even if not, Artyom Levshunov and Zeev Buium are probably better options. At least three of these guys will likely still be on the board when the Jackets step up to the podium.

But, there's always that London Knights - Columbus Blue Jackets connection. If that's the case, and they take Dickinson fourth overall: great. He's good enough. I just hope those "ifs" mentioned in the paragraph above don't become true.