Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Puck Drops Here: #BlueJackets #NHLDraft #CBJ

By @CLulovics

The top 2 picks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft went as expected as Connor McDavid went to the Edmonton Oilers and Jack Eichel went to the Buffalo Sabres. As for the Columbus Blue Jackets draft went they had the number 8 pick and they selected 17 year old defenseman Zach Werenski from the University of Michigan. Zach is a tall strong D man which the Jackets were looking for but early reports have him returning to Michigan. They also traded up to the 29th spot and selected D man Gabriel Carlsson from Sweden.
In the second round the Jackets drafted LW Paul Bittner from the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. Still in the second round and with the 58th pick C Kevin Stenlund was selected also out of Sweden. In the third round the CBJ selected Keegan Kolesar who plays RW for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL. The 5th round was all about defense as the Jackets took 2 D men in Sam Ruopp of the Prince George Cougars of the WHL and Veeti Vainio out of Sweden. Round 6 also saw the team take a D man in Vladislav Gavrikov who currently plays for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl out of Russia. And with the teams last pick in the draft they selected another D man in Markus Nutivaara out of Finland.

With the draft over the prospects headed down to Columbus in Nationwide Arena for the annual prospect camp which started on Monday June 29th. Fans can get an early glimpse of the teams draft picks along with other future prospects who hope to one day make it to the NHL.

Always looking towards the future Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen made a blockbuster trade on Tuesday June 30 with the Chicago Blackhawks which saw Brandon Saad, defenseman Michael Paliotta, and forward Alex Broadhurst traded to the Blue Jackets from Chicago for forwards Artem Anisimov, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp, Marko Dano, and a fourth found pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. Saad who was part of the past two Stanley Cup Champions for Chicago in only 4 seasons with the team saw career bests in the 2014-2015 season with 23 goals and 52 points. In the playoffs which saw the Blackhawks win the Cup Saad had 8 goals and 11 points.

To say it nicely the Blue Jackets got the better end of this trade as Artem Anisimov whose contract was up at the end of this coming season more than likely would of been traded during the season but Jarmo saw an opportunity to add a player from a team that won the Stanley Cup twice in the past 4 years so Saad knows what it takes to win.

As always Carry The Flag, We Are The 5th Line, Battle On and AllofUs

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