Columbus Blue Jackets Top Prospects: Chrismas Edition

Holiday season is here! Let's review the top CBJ prospects.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets
Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages
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We ranked 28 total prospects for the Blue Jackets, with a total of eight honorable mentions. Here are the other three players who just missed the top-20 (we had a tie in our voting for #20).

(HM) C Tyler Angle 5’10”, 170 pounds. 7th round (#212 overall), 2019 NHL Draft. Projection: secondary scoring center (third/fourth line). Stats: 1g-2a-3pts, 12gp for Cleveland (AHL).

(HM) G Nolan Lalonde 6’1″, 185 pounds. Undrafted, signed as a free agent summer 2023. Projection: backup goaltender. Stats: 7-4-0 record, 3.22GAA, .868% save percentage, 14gp for Saginaw (OHL).

(HM) RW Cameron Butler 6’4″, 210 pounds. Undrafted, signed as a free agent summer 2023. Projection: bottom-line, physical winger. Stats: 1g-0a-1pt, 14gp for Cleveland (AHL).

The top-20 prospects for the Columbus Blue Jackets:

T-20. (HM) LW Tyler Peddle 6’1″, 205 pounds. 7th round (#224 overall), 2023 NHL Draft. Projection: bottom six physical/scoring winger. Stats: 6g-7a-13pts, 33gp for Drummondville (QMJHL). Why we ranked him here: Peddle has a wicked release, which he uses along with his size and physicality to play a strong offensive game. He doesn't project as a top-six scorer, but his game will translate well to the professional level.

Jan 25, 2023; Langley, BC, CANADA; CHL Top Prospects team white forward Tyler Peddle (10)
Jan 25, 2023; Langley, BC, CANADA; CHL Top Prospects team white forward Tyler Peddle (10) / Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

T-20. (HM) D Nikolai Makarov 6’1″, 195 pounds. 5th round (#132 overall), 2021 NHL Draft. Projection: physical bottom-three defenseman. Stats: 0g-2a-2pts, 28gp for CSKA Moscow (KHL). Why we ranked him here: if Makarov does make the jump from Russia at some point, he could be a solid shutdown player in the Vladislav Gavrikov mold.

19. (HM) G Melvin Strahl 6’3″, 165 pounds. 5th round (#156 overall), 2023 NHL Draft. Projection: NHL goaltender. Stats: 8-10-0 record, 2.72GAA, .909% save percentage, 19gp for MoDo J20 (Sweden Junior). Why we ranked him here: He's a long-term project, but in a system that is weak on goaltending prospects, Strahl could be a hidden gem.

18. (HM) C Oiva Keskinen 6’0″, 180 pounds. 7th round (#194 overall), 2023 NHL Draft. Projection: middle six two-way center. Stats: 3g-12a-15pts, 29gp for Tapparra (Liiga, Finland). Why we ranked him here: Keskinen is producing well in a men's league, and was recently named to Finland's WJC U-20 team. He could be a rapid riser if his trajectory keeps up.

17. (HM) LW Kirill Dolzhenkov 6’6″, 235 pounds. 4th round (#109 overall), 2022 NHL Draft. Projection: middle six scoring winger. Stats: 3g-3a-6pts, 16gp for CSKA Moscow (KHL). Why we ranked him here: He's the biggest prospect in the system, hard to knock off the puck, and with some of the best hands of any CBJ prospect. He could have a Dmitri Voronkov kind of impact in a few years.