Columbus Blue Jackets draft candidate, Konsta Helenius is a heady two-way center

Konsta Helenius may be the most NHL ready forward in the entire draft class. While he doesn't have elite level skill, I think he's being underrated amongst his peers.
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Konsta Helenius could step right into the NHL next season and play center. Sounds great to me, but not at fourth overall.

If I had to make a comparison for Helenius at the NHL level (one relevant to Blue Jacket fans), I think I would have to say William Karlsson. Remember him?

Wild Bill scored 15 goals in 162 games in his two full seasons in Columbus. Then, he exploded onto the scene in his first season in Vegas, scoring 43 goals in 82 games. Since then, he's back down to an average of around 15 goals and 60 points per season.

That's basically what I see Konsta Helenius becoming. A 15-20 goal, 50-60 point two-way center in the NHL. You can play him in all situations and have him be a matchup nightmare. He'll chip in some secondary offense.

But, when you have the fourth overall pick at the draft, that's not the kind of upside you're hoping for. There will be better options available to the Jackets here, who may not be ready as quickly; but in two or three years, project as far better players in the NHL.

Now, if the Jackets were to deal away their #4 pick and acquire something in return; moving back in the draft and taking Helenius could still be a win. I don't think any of us would complain about having Adam Fantilli, Cole Sillinger, Dmitri Voronkov, and Helenius down the middle in a few years. Especially if they can get more assets to play around them in that kind of deal.

In fact, now that I brought him up, Cole Sillinger is a pretty good comparable to Helenius as well. Remember how he stepped right into the NHL after being the 12th (technically 11th) overall pick in the draft?

In the end, I think someone drafting between 8-12 overall will be ecstatic to land this player. He's going to be an NHLer in some capacity, probably soon rather than later - not unlike Sillinger. Some of the guys taken ahead of him will probably "miss", which is why I think Helenius will turn into a steal in due time.

But again, not unlike Sillinger, or William Karlsson - temper your expectations here. This isn't a guy who is going to hold down top line minutes for the long haul. That's the reason I don't see him as a top-5 pick in this draft.

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