After the exciting finish to round one yesterday, I was expecting a real bang to start the morning session. There were at least two offers on the table for Columbus’ 31st pick last night, and a number of players who had slid from many analysts top 30 chart. With Howson noting their last minute decision to not take the Kings 1st round pick this year, I was under the assumption that Columbus had at least one player, if not a couple of players circled. The Jackets also had five additional picks after the Ryan Murray pick of Friday, and my full attention.
My original hopes included Martin Frk, a Canadian junior prospect with an excellent shot and solid size. Instead, the Blue Jackets opted to resolve a major hole in their prospect pool by drafting the 2nd rated European goalie, Oscar Dansk. Dansk put up strong numbers with Sweden internationally, and will likely enter the Canadian Hockey League this coming season. Dansk profile at Elite Prospects
If people were still concerned with the depth of Columbus’ goalie prospects, they certainly wouldn’t be after the 62nd pick, in which the Blue Jackets called Joonas Korpisalo. He was the third ranked European goalie behind only Dansk and Vasilevski. Not unlike Dansk, he could very well find himself entering the Canadian Junior system for the upcoming season, and to my understanding, both drafted goalies will join the team for the development camp held in early July. Korpisalo profile at Elite Prospects
The fourth round came quickly, and the Blue Jackets once again found themselves going off my list of hopefuls by drafting London Knight forward Josh Anderson. While his current numbers lack a certain level of impressiveness, a lot of the commentary I’ve read suggests that his upside continues to rise, along with his size and abilities on the ice. Comments from the Blue Jackets also suggest that he has high expectations for himself, giving me reason to keep a keen eye on his 2012/2013 statistics with London. Anderson Profile on London Knights website
Daniel Zaar of Sweden was the Blue Jackets 6th round pick at 152. Zaar was ranked the 114th European player by Central Scouting and has been suggested to have a solid shot, between his accuracy and on the one-timer. He put up strong numbers playing for Rogle j20 in the SuperElit. Zaar profile at Elite Prospects
With the first pick in the 7th round, and their final pick for the 2012 draft, the Jackets drafted Gianluca Curcuruto, a defenseman from Sault Ste. Marie of the Ontario Hockey League. A former first round pick for the Greyhounds in the 2010 priority draft, Curcuruto was ranked 160th in the North American skater list of Central Scouting. From the few reports I have been able to read on him, it seems like the optimistic return on this pick could be a solid two-way defender. Curcuruto profile on the Greyhounds site
Overall, a very interesting draft. I found it shocking how hard they focused on goaltending early in the draft, and felt that there was a serious lack of scoring potential brought into the prospect pool today. With that said, goaltending in five years could be a major asset to Columbus with the talents of Dansk, Korpisalo, and of course Bobrovsky acquired from the Flyers on Friday. Had I been able to take them, players like Frk and Athanasiou would have been Blue Jackets, but I am not at a total loss on the decisions made. In fact, I look forward to seeing how a few of these prospects pan out within the next couple of years.
For now, I look forward to free agency. Columbus is now deep defensively, but they still need to address their offense and their goaltending. I would expect with the efforts of Friday and Saturday, the focus on a return for Nash will be offense specifically, but Howson has an unfortunately tall task of finding the right deal with so few suitors. Hang in there Jackets fans, a new season, a new look, and hopefully a new identity is upon us.
Carry the Flag.