Well the next to last weekend in June has come and gone, meaning the NHL draft is over. The Blue Jackets went to the Steel City with eight picks, using only six due to the Bobrovsky trade (a deal I don’t really have a problem with). I was lucky enough to go to the draft – I say lucky because getting tickets was a pain in the butt and a half, (we had to resort to eBay and a friend of one of my dad’s coworkers to go both days).
As for the draft, as I said before, the Blue Jackets added six players with it being an even split on multiple levels. Of the six the team selected there were two of each position (forward/ defenseman/ goalie) and three each coming from North America and Europe. So, without further ado, lets meet the newest Jackets.
1-2 Ryan Murray-Everett Silvertips(WHL)
CS Rank 2 NA Skater Stats 46GP 9-22-31 E 31PIM
The Blue Jackets started off its draft taking the best player available/the guy at the top of the list in Everett Silvertips’ (it’s a tree/another name for a Grizzly Bear) captain, Ryan Murray. Murray adds to the Blue Jackets stable of young defensemen and joins Boone Jenner and Will Weber as prospects that were captains last season. Murray is a effortless skater – using it as an offensive weapon by joining/leading the rush. Ryan has a strong point shot finishing second at the CHL Top Prospects game with a 94.3MPH shot. Murray is not a high-end offensive player despite leading the Tips’ defensmen in scoring with 31 points which was 6th on the team. Sometimes, Ryan would try to force plays, not following his instincts on a somewhat bad Everett team. Defensively, Ryan blocks shots and excels at stick checking – doing the little things that fans don’t always notice. I said earlier that Ryan was the captain last season, he was also captain for 18 games as a 17-year-old when Landon Ferraro was out with an injury and has been a captain at almost every level. Ryan became the second youngest player to play for Team Canada at the World Championships.
2-31 Oscar Dansk-Brynas Jr(Sweden)
CS Rank 2 European Goalie Stats 2.82GAA .910Sv%
It didn’t take the Jackets long on day two to address its goalie depth adding top goalie prospect Oscar Dansk with the first pick of the day. Dansk is from the goalie factory, Brynas, that has recently produced Anders Lindback and Panthers top prospect Jacob Markstrom. Now, while I raved about his European team, Oscar has actually played in North America, playing at Shattucks St. Mary a few years ago going 13-2-1 with a 1.89GAA with the school’s u16 team. Dansk is likely heading back to North America as he’s said he wants to play Major Junior in the CHL. I don’t know how this works, but more than one person I follow has told me he’s going to play with London of the OHL (last year’s league champions) but a team could mess that up by picking him before the Knights. As strengths, Dansk uses his natural frame to cover the lower portion of the net, he plays with confidence and has good focus tracking the puck well through traffic.
3-62 Joonas Korpisalo-Jokerit Jr(Finland)
CS Rank 3 European goalie Stats 38GP 2.04GAA .920Sv%
With its second pick of day two, the Jackets went back to Scandinavia for another goalie, this time from Finland drafting Joonas Korpisalo of the Jokerit Jr team. Korpisalo is another big goalie with quick legs that can kick out the pads like some flashy goaltender, or, shoot out the glove to rob shooters, but he can give up juicy rebounds at times. Korpisalo has a very high compete level and never gives up on a play – making the second and third saves. Consistency is a strength as he dominated the Jr A circuit including multiple impressive international performances. One negative, according to the draft guide I have, is he had trouble tracking the puck making him susceptible to quick screened shots.
4-92 Josh Anderson-London(OHL)
CS Rank 57 NA Skater Stats 64GP 10-12-22 +17 34PIM
In the fourth round, the Jackets finally drafted a forward. I’ll admit not the high scoring forward I would’ve liked, but from what I’ve read, I think we may have got a steal. Josh had to be one of the biggest risers between the midterm and final rankings going from 161 to 57. Anderson is a power forward, but a bit of project as he needs to get stronger and work on his skating stride (see every prospect ever it seems). Josh plays a full two-way game hounding the puck and disrupting the opposition’s attack. Josh shows power forward tendencies like dropping his shoulder and powering his way to the net. He also possesses a very good shot that explodes off his stick. The guides I have both seem to think that given more responsibility/ice time Josh could be a force to be reckoned with.
From Future Considerations draft guide ”He needs to add some weight and gain more ice time, watch out once he does”
(twitter profile pic best I could do)
6-152 Daniel Zaar-Rogle Jr(Sweden)
CS Rank 114 Euro Skater Stats(Rogle J20) 44GP 14-24-38 +6 22PIM
With its next to last pick, the Jackets went back to Sweden to select Daniel Zaar from the Rogle junior team. Zaar is a strong two-way forward that showed awareness for pinching defenders or his center when they ventured down low. His great wheels aid in his all around play and his positioning in both zones. Both the scouting report, and a blogger I asked about him, commented on his shot.
7-182 Gianluca Curcurato-Sault Ste Marie(OHL)
CS Rank 160 NA Skater Stats 63GP 3-13-16 -14 36PIM
With its last pick in the draft, the Jackets went back to the OHL, selecting Soo Greyhounds defenseman Gianluca Curcurato who joins Boone Jenner among great Blue Jackets draft pick names. Curcurato is an above average skater with solid postioning who likes to battle deep and along the boards. He possesses a hard point shot but doesn’t use it as much as he should according to one draft guide. Gianluca made some bad reads last season that made him look bad – seemingly not wanting to join the rush/being tenative may have led to his drop in the rankings.
There you have it folks, the Blue Jackets 2012 NHL Draft class. Unlike most of the media, I liked this draft, mostly because I was hoping to get either Murray or Yakupov(check) and one of the top three goalies(check). Rookie Camp is coming along quickly and as long as nothing stupid happens with the CBA ill be heading up to Traverse City to follow the Jackets team being sent up there.