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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Tij Iginla is a highly skilled, physical scoring winger; who only improved as the year went on. How high will he go?

There are a few drawbacks to Iginla's game. First off, his skating isn't as quick or dynamic as some of the other forwards ranked inside the top-10. In fact, it's easy to make a case for him being a less effective skater than all of them.

With that aside, he's still a "good" skater, it's just a different style. He doesn't have crazy straight ahead speed, and instead of using his edges to twist and pivot away from contact; he leans into them and braces himself for physicality. That's just the style of his game, and it's not a big concern for me.

Like any young scoring forward, he has a lot to learn on the defensive side of the puck as well. But, with his bloodline, and in time; I think that area of his game will round out just fine.

Looking at consensus rankings, Tij is ranked after (at the very least) Macklin Celebrini, Ivan Demidov, and Cayden Lindstrom. Depending on who you ask, he's also ranked behind Berkly Catton, Konsta Helenius, and potentially Cole Eiserman.

I'll come right out and say that I would pick Tij Iginla well ahead of Eiserman. As far as the rest, it's up for debate. Maybe teams will prefer the huge upside of Demidov or Catton. Maybe it's the size and skating of Lindstrom. Maybe the two-way prowess of a center like Helenius. It's hard to say.

But, I don't think it's a stretch to put Iginla into that conversation. If the Blue Jackets were more set down the middle, I would hedge bets towards them taking this kind of player. He's exactly what they need more of: a physical, puck retrieving goal scorer. Think of him like Boone Jenner mixed with Yegor Chinakhov.

In the end, I don't think they will go this route. But, Tij is a fun player to profile - and even more fun to watch. I think he'll be a star in the NHL.