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
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 5
Next

Every prospect inside this top-10 shows legitimate NHL potential. Some will take longer than others, however.

10. (17) G Sergei Ivanov 5’11”, 165 pounds. 5th round (#138 overall), 2022 NHL Draft. Projection: starting goaltender. Stats: 4-6-0 record, 2.36GAA, .935% save percentage, 16gp for Vladivostok (KHL). Why we ranked him here: Ivanov is playing - and starring in goal - in one of the top men's leagues in the world. He's one of the biggest risers on our list because he just keeps stopping pucks, regardless the competition. The only two things that keep him from rising further: his size, and the fact that he's playing in Russia, with no clue as to when or if he comes over.

9. (20) C Luca Pinelli 5’9″, 170 pounds. 4th round (#114) overall, 2023 NHL Draft. Projection: middle six two-way center. Stats: 23g-10a-33pts, 31gp for Ottawa (OHL). Why we ranked him here: Speaking of biggest risers, Pinelli earns that honor on this ranking, jumping 11 spots. He's almost equaled his goal output from last season in less than half the number of games played. Still a raw talent, but when you see a guy putting up numbers like this, it's hard to overlook him.

8. (12) RW William Whitelaw 5’9″, 175 pounds. 3rd round (#66 overall), 2023 NHL Draft. Projection: second line scoring winger. Stats: 6g-5a-11pts, 17gp for Wisconsin (NCAA). Why we ranked him here: Whitelaw has made a quick adjustment from the USHL to the collegiate level, where he's been a strong goal scoring threat already. He was also one of the last cuts from team USA's World Junior Championships roster.

7. (10) LW James Malatesta 5’9″, 190 pounds. 5th round (#133 overall), 2021 NHL Draft. Projection: middle six sniper/pest. Stats: 7g-4a-11pts, 21gp for Cleveland (AHL). Why we ranked him here: A slow start to the professional ranks for James Malatesta has seemingly dissipated - he has 8 points in his last 8 games. But even if the offensive output isn't big, I love his ability to crawl under the opposition's skin and cause havoc.

James Malatesta
Washington Capitals v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

6. (8)  D Corson Ceulemans 6’2″, 200 pounds. 1st round (#25 overall), 2021 NHL Draft. Projection: second pairing two-way defenseman. Stats: 1g-3a-3pts, 17gp for Cleveland (AHL) Why we ranked him here: Ceulemans may not be scoring at a high pace, but his two-way game and mobility make him an intriguing prospect on defense.