Kraken Expansion Draft - Columbus Blue Jackets
Happy Tuesday everyone!
Quick side note, my last selection; J.T. Compher from the Colorado Avalanche was the first pick I have made where more than 50% of the voters stated they disagreed with my selection. Luckily this isn't a democracy and the final decision remains mine.
Jokes aside I love all the feedback I receive on these posts so if you do disagree with my picks, please write in the comments who you believe the selection should have been!
Today we move on to the Columbus Blue Jackets with commenter General Mokus making the list. Take it away!
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS PROTECTION LIST
Cam Atkinson - RW
Gustav Nyquist - RW
Max Domi - C
Boone Jenner - C
Oliver Bjorkstrand - RW
Eric Robinson - LW
Pierre Luc Dubois - C
Seth Jones - RD
Zach Werenski - LD
Vladislav Garikov - LD
Also, General Mokus did point out that Columbus does have a number of players that are exempt from being selected including forwards Emil Bemstrom and Alexandre Texier, defenseman Andrew Peeke, and goaltender Elvis Merzlikins.
The Blue Jackets might be one of the least sexy teams in the league in terms of their supporting cast. The team as a whole is 100% invested in their shutdown style which makes it difficult to isolate specific players and what they bring. Here are the names that stand out for me.
Kevin Stenlund: The 24 year old only has 36 games under his belt in the NHL, putting up 6 goals and 10 points in that time. Currently an RFA but I think it's safe to assume he will be given an extension. At 6'4 and 210 lbs Stenlund can play a solid game and scouting reports have praised his two way game. Like most bigger players, his foot speed remains the biggest area of concern.
Dean Kukkan: The 27 year old moves the puck fine, can play physical but reports suggest not nearly consistent enough. His age and cheaper cap hit of 1.65 million are the only real areas of interest here.
Gabriel Carlsson: A true shutdown D-man in every sense of the word. Carlsson will never provide any real form of offensive output but at 6'5 he has steady positioning in his own end and knows how to block shooting lanes. Despite only playing in 26 games total over 4 years, Carlsson likely is what he is; a solid third pairing defender.
Matiss Kivlenieks: Posted a 0.8998SV% in 6 games behind a defensively skilled Blue Jackets team which doesn't instill too much confidence. That being said the 24 year old netminder is just that, only 24. Will be a player to watch this season.
Picking someone like Kukan or Carlsson guarantees having a solid bottom pairing defender but honestly through free agency and plenty of other means that isn't difficult to do. Stenlund has some warts and might never have the foot speed to be an impact player but I think it is a reasonable risk to develop an older player.