|Ryan Johansen in Development Camp|
What an emotional roller coaster for a young player. The stirring battle to the end for the CBJ, the disappointment of missing the playoffs, then back to the AHL playoffs. But the benching sends a message throughout the organization about accountability, which this fan finds heartening. Developmentally, the CBJ had this 100% correct to send Joey and Prout back to Springfield. And for Joey, its about coming to grips with being a pro. You may have ridden an emotional roller coaster. Maybe you didn't show up for Game 1. By the end of Game 2, when the coach has talked you up to try to get you ready, and you don't respond in Game 3, then you should be benched. A pro ought to be able to hit that reset button, and get engaged after that first game. So, lesson learned, we hope.
Management has made it clear that Johansen should focus on a great off season in order to make a strong push to make the NHL club in the fall. Johansen should note that his spot on the big club is not a given, and that with the depth at center, and Boone Jenner's almost certain push into the mix, that he will be challenged to make the club. Hopefully some time off, and then getting back into preparation for the season will help him to make the mental adjustment.
The other reason I am pleased about this has to do with our missing out on those lottery players in the 2013 draft which was caused by the CBJ's playoff push. Nathan MacKinnon or Seth Jones would look really good in a CBJ uniform, no doubt. The interesting thing about those high draft picks is that they are going to pretty much jump from juniors into the NHL. They have the talent, and while there will be ups and downs, the teams picking these guys will make room on the roster for them. With the CBJ picking 14th, and with two more picks in the first round, the order yet to be determined by playoff finishes, we will load 3 really good prospects into the development track. Rather than 'making room on the roster' for these guys, they are most likely to finish their junior careers, then jump to the AHL before we will see them in the regular season in Columbus. But it will be a shot in the arm for our development system, and soon Brad Larsen will get his chance to mold them. These players are unlikely to be the 'high risk, high reward players'. By the time they get to Columbus, we should have a pretty good idea what they are going to bring to the table, similar to the track that Boone Jenner has taken.
All of which should make this year's annual draft party a really good time!