Columbus Blue Jackets draft candidate at fourth overall, Tij Iginla is a chip off the old block

Jarome Iginla was one of the premier power forwards in the NHL throughout the early 2000's. His son Tij may not be as physical, but he has the potential to be a very good NHL player in his own right.
2024 Kubota CHL Top Prospects Game
2024 Kubota CHL Top Prospects Game / Dale Preston/GettyImages
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It certainly feels like the Blue Jackets, sitting a fourth overall in this month's draft, will have their choice of the second or third best forward in the entire draft, if they choose to go that route.

We know Macklin Celebrini is going to be taken first overall. And, it sure seems like at least one of Chicago or Anaheim will take defenseman Artyom Levshunov. When the Blue Jackets come to the podium, they will have to decide if one of the defensemen is good enough to nab with their pick; or, if they should add another talented forward to their young core.

If they go with a forward, allow me to throw Tij Iginla's name into the hat of potential candidates. I believe he's that good.

Playing with the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) this season, Iginla scored 47 goals (T-6th in the league) and 84 points in 64 games played. He added 9 goals(!) and 15 points in just 11 playoff games, as well.

He was so good in fact, that he went from a fringe first round pick candidacy, to a near-lock for the top-10. And, at this point, I feel like he's risen far enough to thrust himself into top-5 conversation. He was nothing short of sensational this season, and his skillset projects to the NHL very well.

At 6'0" and 185 pounds, Tij is not quite the physical bull that his old man (Jarome) was. If you watched the game 15-20 years ago, Jarome was one of the premier power forwards in the NHL. He could score goals in bunches; and played mean each and every shift.

While Tij isn't that kind of physical beast, he does have a lot of the same traits in his game. Instead of a bull, think of him as a bulldog.

He understands the importance of getting to the hard areas of the ice, and he can win puck battles in a variety of ways. Be it body positioning, throwing a reverse hit, or using his stick to come away with the puck; he wins those battles like a veteran pro.

He has really good hands, and does have some playmaking ability as well. But, it's his shot that really stands out. Tij can let it rip from a variety of different shooting angles, and the puck comes off his stick quickly and accurately.

In fact, from a pure skillset perspective, I think he's a more gifted player than Jarome was. But, really, aside from their name, it's like comparing apples to oranges. Tij is a different style player, though, just as potent a goal scorer.

On the next slide I'll talk about his drawbacks, and weigh the odds that he goes to the Jackets.