2014 Traverse City Tournament Preview

Posted by CBJProspects on September 04, 2014
Prospects / 1 Comment

Hockey season is right around the bend. The boards are going in at Nationwide and the Jackets prospects, along with your friendly neighborhood prospect geek, are off to Traverse City, Michigan for the annual NHL Prospects Tournament at the Centre Ice Arena.

Starting off with the how the tournament is set up, the eight teams are split into two divisions named after Red Wings legends Ted Lindsay and Gordie Howe. The Jackets will be in the Howe Division with the Minnesota Wild, St Louis Blues and the host/defending champs Detroit Red Wings. The Lindsay Division features Jackets division rivals the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers along with the Dallas Stars and the Buffalo Sabres who should boast the highest pick playing in the draft in 2nd overall pick Sam Reinhart (Buffalo hasn’t released it’s roster as of this writing).

Each team will play the three teams in its division in a round robin and then face off against the team that finished in the same spot in the other division.

The Jackets are bringing probably their best roster ever and hope to improve on back to back second place finishes in their division (4th overall in the tournament both times). The team’s forward and goalies are probably the best in the tournament. I know I’m biased and our roster is loaded but I think this team will do well this year and it’s mainly because no other team in the tournament’s roster really impresses me. Let’s take a look:

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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.


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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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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My 2014 CBJ Mock Draft

Posted by CBJProspects on June 24, 2014
Draft, Prospects / 1 Comment

Hello all! It’s the greatest part of the NHL offseason – the NHL Entry Draft (Ok maybe just to me). I’ve said multiple times what the CBJ need so I’m not going to waste any time – let’s get drafting. Here are my predictions for this year’s draft that will occur this weekend in Philadelphia.

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Why I think the CBJ should focus on Defense at the NHL Entry Draft

Posted by CBJProspects on June 13, 2014
Draft, Prospects / No Comments

How do, all! As you know, I’ve been saying that the CBJ should focus on their defensive prospect depth in this year’s draft despite the fact that, from what I’ve gathered, the best player available in the first round will more than likely be a forward. As I pointed out in my preview, the CBJ have used 16 of their last 19 picks on forwards or goalies including six of last year’s seven picks (all six being forwards) with four of those picks being among the teams top prospects. But more importantly, I say this because of the organization’s overall lack of depth at the position.

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2014 CBJ Prospect Awards

Posted by CBJProspects on June 02, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

Greeting all! Live from your phone or PC, the entertainment capital of your office, it’s time for my fourth annual edition of The Prospect Awards so put on your best tuxedo shirt and let’s get going. Continue reading…

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