Sonny Milano: Third Commitment’s the Charm

Posted by Staff on August 19, 2014
Prospects / 1 Comment

Cam Atkinson. Johnny Gaudreau. Sonny Milano. What do these three agile forwards have in common, aside from their abilities to control the ice with their supreme puck-handling and goal-scoring prowess?

Two of the three, Atkinson (2008 NHL Draft selection of the Columbus Blue Jackets and 2011 Hobey Baker award finalist) and Gaudreau (2011 NHL Draft selection of the Calgary Flames and 2014 Hobey Baker award winner), have donned the #13 sweater for the Boston College Eagles, one of the nation’s top NCAA hockey programs.

Milano (2014 NHL Draft first-round selection of the Columbus Blue Jackets) was set to continue the tradition this fall in Chestnut Hill. However, this third criterion is no longer a reality. Milano informed Boston College Eagles head coach Jerry York, the all-time leader in NCAA men’s ice hockey wins with 963, this past weekend that he will no longer fulfill his commitment to Boston College and will continue his hockey career with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League.

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Sonny Milano to OHL

Posted by CBJProspects on August 16, 2014
Prospects / No Comments

It came out last night that Blue Jackets 2014 1st round pick Sonny Milano will not attend Boston College and instead will be signing his entry level deal with the CBJ soon.

Because of being drafted from the USHL, Sonny is eligible to play in Springfield but more than likely he is heading to Plymouth of the Ontario Hockey League. This somewhat shocked many of the people I follow (one I think was gonna need talked off a ledge) as Sonny was expected to fill the hole left by Hobey Baker Award winner Johnny Gaudreau.

Here’s a quote from BC coach Jerry York about Sonny deciding not to attend BC “Sonny has informed me he will sign a contract with Columbus. They will dictate his path as he embarks upon his pro career.” A lot of people are getting on Sonny for decommiting after saying he would go to BC at the US World Junior Camp but I think it would have been highly unlikely for him to decommit in the middle of a US event. Like Mike McMahon from College Hockey News said there are many roads to the NHL.

I think the best option for Sonny is to head to Plymouth where he’ll probably be the Whalers go to offensive weapon as the teams leading returning scorers are 18 year old Francesco Vilardi and import Victor Crus Rydberg who had 38 points. A trade that some think may have helped get Sonny to the Whalers was trading for Matthew Campagna who had 74 points with Sudbury last season.

It was a down year for the Whalers last year. they finished 8th in the Western Conference – going 28-33-0-7 which included being swept by Memorial Cup Runner Up Guelph. The Whalers also lost GM/coach Mike Vellucci to the Carolina Hurricanes (who use Plymouth as their OHL affiliate-they have the same owner). One asset that is returning is OHL top goalie and Parma native Alex Nedeljkovic (who Sonny shares an agent with).

So Sonny will head to Traverse City joining last year’s three first round picks which likely sets a new tournament record (I can’t think of any team ever sending more than two). Sonny also seems to be a lock for Team USA at the World Juniors after leading the evaluation camp in scoring.

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2014 Top 20 CBJ Prospects

Posted by CBJProspects on August 11, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / 1 Comment

Greetings all after a bit of summer break I’m back with my take on the Jackets Top 20 prospects. First here are my last top 20 from January.

1. Alexander Wennberg
2. Kerby Rychel
3. Oscar Dansk
4. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault
5. Marko Dano
6. Anton Forsberg
7. Cody Goloubef
8. Oliver Bjorkstrand
9. Mike Reilly
10. Michael Chaput
11. Daniel Zaar
12. Dillon Heatherington
13. Sean Collins
14. Josh Anderson
15. Lukas Sedlak
16. Peter Quenneville
17. Gianluca Curcuruto
18. Seth Ambroz
19. Markus Soberg
Incomplete Joonas Korpisalo

When we look at the list for this year, two prospects from this list have moved on with J_M being traded to Tampa Bay and Gianluca Curcuruto not being signed after an injury filled/down year in Plymouth. There has also been some normal movement due to last season’s performances. So let’s take a look at my list of the top 20:

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Some More Thoughts on Nick Foligno

Posted by The Coach on July 31, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Contracts, Stats / No Comments

In yesterday’s Salary Project post, I took a look at Nick Foligno (as well as Scott Hartnell and Ryan Johansen). In it, I advocated for letting Nick Foligno walk after this season. That isn’t sitting particularly well with me right now. See, I love Nick Foligno. He’s probably number three on my list of favorite Jackets players (behind Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Murray). He seems like a great guy, he works hard, he does a lot of little things pretty well. So looking at comparable players around the league in terms of his age and offensive production, and seeing what the market was for those players was a little disappointing. I wasn’t expecting anyone outstanding to show up, but wasn’t expecting the kinds of guys still sitting as unrestricted free agents either. Continue reading…

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The Salary Project Part 2: Foligno, Hartnell & Johansen

Posted by The Coach on July 30, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets / 1 Comment

Welcome to the Salary Project Part 2. If you missed Part 1, you can find it here. The Salary Project is a look at the entire CBJ roster, using an arbitration-style analysis to figure out who their closest comparable players are around the league, how much those players make, and how much to expect on a player’s next contract and/or if they are providing good value on their current contract. This is done through using filters on the entire NHL. We are looking at forwards again this week, so we eliminate all defensemen, all players more than two years apart in age, then break down goals, assists, and special teams time on ice by a percentage filter. Generally, it’s players within 15% of the goals and assists, and 25% of time on ice stats, however there are occasionally exceptions,which are noted, and only when there are not enough players in the standard filter to get a good idea of value. Part 1 covered Cam Atkinson, Matt Calvert, and Brandon Dubinsky. Up today are Nick Foligno, Scott Hartnell, and Ryan Johansen. Let’s get to it.

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The Salary Project: Introduction, Atkinson, Calvert & Dubinsky

Posted by The Coach on July 24, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Contracts, Stats / 2 Comments

Ahhhhh the doldrums of the offseason. With one major exception, everything in CBJ-Land is settled for the coming year. Even considering Ryan Johansen‘s lack of a contract, we still have a very good idea of what the Blue Jackets roster will look like for the coming year. The exact lines and defense pairings are still up in the air, but we can deal with that closer to when we actually get to see them. Right now there is one thing (almost) going on in the NHL: arbitration hearings. I say almost, as hearings basically NEVER happen anymore, with all the scheduled hearings getting canceled so far after the players and teams have come to agreements. However, I know a thing or two about arbitration in the NHL, having penned this article at the Score, this MUCH longer in-depth paper, as well as first hand experience working on NHL arbitration cases. I figured I’d take the arbitration approach to the current Blue Jackets roster. By looking at what players around the league would be comparable to the current CBJ roster based on their current seasons, we can see if their salaries (and by salaries I mean cap hits) are commensurate with what they contributed last season.

So how did I do this? Well I used a 15% filter (with exceptions noted) for goals and assists, a 25% filter for time on ice, a plus/minus two years in age filter, and of course a positional filter (although all forwards are lumped together). Those sets were used for every player, with a 25% filter for special teams play for players that warranted it. This was done over the last two seasons to find a group of five to ten players who best matched the CBJ player in question. Players on entry-level deals weren’t considered, as their contracts are not merit based (at least not NHL merit). I then looked over the resulting list and figured out where the CBJ player fit. That gives us a nice little range for what each player should be paid based on their market value (from last season), how they compare to players of similar ilk, and what kind of contract to expect for each player moving forward. For today’s post I’ll be taking a look at Cam Atkinson, Matt Calvert, and Brandon Dubinsky. Why didn’t I start with Ryan Johansen? Well the outrage from some mainstream media folks over the Dubinsky project is what initially led me to this idea, I wanted to do them by lines (more or less), and I can only do so much in one post (these are VERY research intensive). Don’t worry, Johansen will be in part two. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

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Dinner with the Prospects…CBJProspects’ take

Posted by Staff on July 14, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

When the Blue Jackets offered up the opportunity to eat dinner with the propsects during development camp, including having a player at every table, our own CBJProspects jumped at the chance. Here’s our guy’s take on a unique event from last week’s camp. Here’s a quick recap of the evening Union Blue style, with CBJProspects answering the questions that we wanted to know more about! (And in case you were wondering, yes, CBJProspects sat right next to the baby Jacket at his table).

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Quick Thoughts on CBJ 3-on-3 Prospect Tournament

Posted by CBJProspects on July 11, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

I was able to make it down to the Blue Jackets development camp and just wanted to offer some quick thoughts on certain players based on the 3-on-3 Prospect Tournament as well as what I may remember from the one day I went to camp.

#41 Alexander Wennberg

Alexander, just pick a locker now. Number 10 jersey right? He looked like a man amongst boys out there – scoring multiple ways either sniping past the goalies or picking up the garbage.

#48 TJ Tynan

TJ did what he is known for at Notre Dame – showing off his superb passing skills and setting up multiple goals.

#52 Kerby Rychel

Kerby showed off that shot he’s known for in the scrimmage scoring just seconds into the first game.

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CBJ at the 2014 NHL Draft

Posted by CBJProspects on July 03, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Draft, Prospects / No Comments

Well folks, my two day version of Christmas has ended with the Jackets adding seven new prospects to the organization. So without further adieu let’s meet the newest Blue Jackets:

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The Coach’s Offseason Thoughts (So Far)

Posted by The Coach on June 30, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Roster Talk / 1 Comment

I had the majority of a post put together for an offseason game plan post featuring all the moves I wanted to see the Jackets make. I’d figured out reasonable cap hits for the guys I wanted to be signed, figured out a nice trade or two that made sense, and wrote a nice long paragraph about how no one in their right mind would deal anything of value for RJ Umberger. Then it all got blown to hell. It came out that Jason Spezza had Columbus on his no trade list (I had him as a trade target), Nikita Nikitin was dealt to the Oilers, and Umberger was somehow traded for Scott Hartnell. In my opinion, those moves took care of a lot of what the Jackets needed to do this offseason. So instead of a post detailing everything I wanted to see, I figured I’d hit everything that has happened so far, and what I want to see happen the rest of the offseason. Continue reading…

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