With the offseason at it’s peak right now (hence the lack of activity lately), a number of team-focused websites around the NHL have been posting on their team’s top players under the age of 25, as well as looking at the NHL Equivalency numbers (NHLE) of their prospects. I thought I’d combine those two ideas. What follows is a look at the NHL stats and the NHL Equivalency stats for every Blue Jackets player or prospect under the age of 25. After that, I ranked the top 25 Blue Jackets under 25. NHLE was established by Gabe Desjardins and finds the equivalent statistics for players who did not play in the NHL. For example, a point in the OHL equals 0.30 points in the NHL. So 70 OHL points in 70 games is equal to about 25 points in 82 NHL games. To further clarify, this is not a predictive measure, but historic, as it looks at what these players would have done in the NHL last season, not what they will do when they get there. Without further ado, a look at all the CBJ players under the age of 25.
|Player||Pos||Age||Draft Pos||Draft Year||Team||League||GP1||PTS1||GP2||PTS2||NHLE|
|Artem Anisimov||C||24||54||2006||New York Rangers||NHL||79||36||37|
|TJ Tynan||C||20||66||2011||Notre Dame||NCAA||39||41||35|
|Cam Atkinson||RW||23||157||2008||Columbus Springfield||NHL AHL||27||14||51||44||35|
|Jake Hansen||RW||23||68||2007||Springfield Minnesota||AHL NCAA||2||1||43||38||29|
|Boone Jenner||C||19||37||2011||Springfield Oshawa||AHL OHL||5||1||43||49||26|
|Sean Collins||C||23||187||2008||Springfield Cornell||AHL NCAA||8||5||35||26||25|
|Matt Calvert||LW||22||127||2008||Springfield Columbus||NHL AHL||13||3||56||36||22|
|Oliver Gabriel||LW||21||Springfield Portland||AHL WHL||11||1||39||42||21|
|Maksim Mayorov||LW||23||94||2007||Columbus Springfield||NHL AHL||10||2||46||23||18|
|Tomas Kubalik||RW||22||135||2008||Columbus Springfield||NHL AHL||8||2||50||23||17|
|Daniel Zaar||RW||18||152||2012||Rogle Jr.||Sweden||51||50||11|
|Colton Gillies||LW||23||16||2007||Columbus Minnesota||NHL||75||8||9|
TJ Tynan is the only forward who really jumped out as being higher than expected. Additionally, the off-season moves of Scott Howson really helped bolster this group, as Foligno and Anisimov are two of the top three Blue Jackets forwards on this list. There is a large number of players here in a pretty tight group, with nine players in a nine point spread. As long as a couple of those players emerge over the next couple years, the forward group should be very solid moving forward, if unspectacular.
|Player||Age||Draft Pos||Draft Year||Team||League||GP1||PTS1||GP2||PTS2||NHLE|
|Tim Erixon||21||23||2009||New York Rangers|
|Gianluca Curcuruto||18||182||2012||Sault Ste. Marie||OHL||63||16||6|
The defense is the real gem here, even at this level. Savard is on his way to being a good point producing NHL defenseman, as are Reilly and Madaisky. Murray and Erixon’s numbers are maybe a little lower than expected, but both players are more known for their exemplary defensive game than for their offense. Beyond these players, there are a few more defensemen who have the potential to be NHLers based on their play in the defensive zone.
|Player||Age||Drft Pos||Drft Yr||Team||League||GP1||Sv%1||GAA1||GP2||Sv%2||GAA2|
|Oscar Dansk||18||31||2012||Brynas J20 |
|Anton Forsberg||19||188||2011||Modo |
|Joonas Korpisalo||18||62||2012||Jokerit U20||Jr. A SM-liiga||38||0.92||2.04|
|Allen York||23||158||2007||Columbus |
*Allen York also played 11 games with Chicago of the ECHL, with a .892 SV% and 3.28 GAA
There is no NHLE for goaltenders, this is merely just a way of looking at all their stats in one place. While I did not exactly agree with the decision to draft Dansk and Korpisalo, looking at this chart here is a lot more impressive than the same chart would have looked last offseason, or if the Jackets had only drafted one or two goalies in the later rounds. While the CBJ goaltending situation is still shaky, it looks promising moving forward, as only Curtis McElhinney is the only Blue Jackets goaltender over the age of 24.
Top 25 Under 25
1) Erixon – Gets the nod here based on his NHL readiness. I think Murray will end up being the better player eventually, but Erixon is closer to NHL ready and has shown himself capable at the professional level.
2) Murray – Just a hair behind Erixon, and could easily leap him with a good training camp/start to the NHL season.
3) Brassard – Brassard over Foligno was a tough decision, but I based it mostly on the perception that Brassard has a little more potential than Foligno.
4) Foligno – However, Foligno was barely a hair behind Brassard, as he offers more defensive and physical play than Brassard does.
5) Johansen – Johansen jumps way up the list due to his potential. Right now there are more impressive younger Blue Jackets forwards, but none of them possess Johansen’s skill.
6) Bobrovsky – Bobrovsky has starter potential and has been better in the NHL over the last few years than has Mason. He gets the nod over Anisimov due to the increased value of a starting goaltender over a top nine forward.
7) Anisimov – Gets the jump over Atkinson due to his more extended track record in the NHL and his defensive acumen.
8) Atkinson – Cam is the last of the more impressive players, all of whom have legit top pair/top six/starting goaltending potential, all while having shown they can play at the NHL level (Murray excepted).
9) Mason – This might be a surprisingly high slot, but Mason has shown more at the NHL level than anyone else on the list. While he has been outright bad the last few years, he does still have the potential to be a starting goalie.
10) Savard – Savard is placed over Moore mostly due to my perception of his potential. Moore has the potential to be a solid player, but I see more value in a player with the offensive tools of Savard.
11) Moore – A little lower on the list than I maybe would have thought, but Moore was not particularly good in the NHL last year and was not particularly good in the AHL the year before. Moore still has significant upside, and has shown he can hang in the NHL.
12) Jenner – Barely nets the nod over JAM, mostly due to his defensive and physical play.
13) Audy-Marchessault – Has shown he can put up numbers at the professional level, something Tynan hasn’t done yet.
14) Tynan – Was shockingly high in NHLE, and is a player I am really looking forward to seeing at the professional level. Looks to have top six upside, just needs to show it against better competition.
15) Dansk – Some thought he was the top goaltending prospect in the last draft. Has a ton of potential, but is obviously a long way off and goalie prospects are far from a sure thing.
16) Forsberg – Is probably the better goaltender than Dansk right now, but doesn’t appear to have the upside of Dansk.
17) Reilly – NHLE really puts his massive BCHL season in perspective. He has unlimited potential offensively, but has a lot of work to do defensively and physically.
18) York – Probably a little lower on the list than I expected. I don’t really see starting potential in York and while he had a few good games at the NHL level, he was terrible in the ECHL and AHL.
19) Calvert – Has been solid in the AHL and has had moments in the NHL. However, he is probably topping out as a third line player, maybe as soon as this coming season.
20) Kubalik – Similar to Calvert, but has shown less at the NHL level. Again, tops out as a third liner, and could be in the mix for that kind of job this season.
21) Prout – In the height of the depth players here. Prout looks like he should be a decent third pair defenseman, offering little offense, while being good defensively and physically.
22) Goloubef – Possesses a little more upside than Prout, but not by a significant enough margin to outweigh how much better Prout has been at the professional level.
23) Chaput – Only thing dropping him below Calvert, Kubalik, et al is his lack of play at the professional level. Chaput is probably not a top six player, but looks like he could end up being a fantastic third line player.
24) Weber – Similar to Chaput, but with Prout and Goloubef being the comparables. Could end up being a good shut down defender, but likely not a top four player.
25) Gillies – Has shown he can be a solid fourth liner at the NHL level. I doubt he has much more potential than that, but to have a legit NHL player as the 25th best player under 25 is a very good statement on the calibre of youth within the Blue Jackets organization.
So those are the top 25 under 25 in my opinion. Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments. Are there any players you think I have too high or too low? Is there anyone I missed the boat on? Comment away.