CBJ Top 10 Prospects - #10
Starting a new offseason series, and no brighter way to go than bring more out of the prospect pool to the fans than to dig through the reports the players have made on their rise to the NHL. With how thin the selection is in Columbus, we will just stick with the top ten in their system.
The first prospect on this list is forward James Malatesta from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Malatesta was the fifth round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, 133rd overall. In 91 games with the Quebec Ramparts, the 18 year old winger has produced 68 points (33 goals, 35 assists).
With the guidance and discipline from the Patrick Roy, the former nhl head coach and legendary goalie can help shape the future of Malatesta. Malatesta also has been playing with a potential first rounder in 2022 with center Nathan Gaucher, which could help him play with the Blue Jackets’ top centers in Jack Roslovic, Liam Foudy, Emil Bemstrom, Sean Kuraly, Kent Johnson, and Cole Sillinger.
The 5’ 9”, 175 lbs forward has years of growth and potential before hitting his ceiling. Developmental websites breakdown way more of his strengths and weakness, but to list them in a rapid fire way is how I will forecast him.
With the quick and easy list, I see a bit of Brendan Gallagher in him from the Montreal Canadiens, but I don’t see him making the top 6 on a team, unless he grows and helps support a skill player.
With his time frame, being a late draft pick, my guesstimate is around 2025 as a full time NHLer.