Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pipeline Primed

Today the Columbus Blue Jackets completed the priming of the pipeline by adding a draft full of prospects to their development pipeline.  These guys all need more development time, but are a good complement to those already in the pipeline.  3 forwards, 3 defensemen and a goalie.  The writers over on Puck Rakers give a good break down.

First round pick, Frank "Sonny" Milano is a forward, with sick puck handling skills.  Search up the YouTube video from the 2014 draft combine.  The lad has a feel for the puck.  He is currently committed to Boston College in the NCAA, which is a more than adequate path.  He will develop there facing good competition.  Plymouth owns his rights in Canadian Major Junior, and Jarmo has indicated that they would sit down with the family and review his options.  To me, if you think he will be NHL ready after a year of junior, then that is the route to take.  If it is any longer than that, I'd prefer he go to BC, as I think it will aid his physical development.  We'll see what the family and the CBJ come up with as the best path.

Our second round pick is 6-foot-5 defenseman Ryan Collins.  Another Collins, and another Ryan.  Hmm, this could get challenging in a few years for the inebriated fan.  At any rate, this stay at home defenseman is committed to University of Minnesota.  Like Sonny Milano, Collins hails from the US Development team.  This is a solid defensive depth pick.

Our third round pick is goaltender Elvis Merzlikens, from Latvia.  Elvis has played a lot in Switzerland, and according to the Puck Rakers story is a good puck moving goalie.

Our 2nd third round pick, taken one pick after Elvis is defenseman Blake Siebenaler, who appears to be a pretty good puck moving defenseman with some speed.

Our fourth round pick is Left Wing Julien Pelletier, who looks like he will be playing for Cape Breton in the Quebec Major Junior league next year.

Our fifth round pick is right wing Tyler Bird, who will play for Brown University next year.

Our seventh round, and final pick, was defenseman Olivier LeBlanc, who plays for St. John in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

All of these players need development time, and can develop at their own pace.  This is a solid, if unspectacular draft, and we should expect to see players starting to emerge from it about 3 years from now.  I'm feeling good about the way this went down.


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