As the 2013 draft approaches, the Columbus Blue Jackets will have a chance to add a few more prospects to their already-impressive collection. After trading away some big pieces this season to bring in Marian Gaborik, the Blue Jackets will be looking to add some impact forward. Their 2012 draft added a lot of depth at defense and goaltending, but had a bigger impact than just adding prospects.
The Blue Jackets traded two picks from last year’s draft to get goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. At the time that looked like a risky move, since Bobrovsky’s stats with the Philadelphia Flyers weren’t that impressive and he didn’t seem to be much of an upgrade over Steve Mason. Bobrovsky proved doubters wrong with a stellar 2013 season, and is a Vezina Trophy finalist for his efforts.
The Blue Jackets had the second overall pick last summer, and selected defenseman Ryan Murray. A shoulder injury ended his junior season in the fall, but after surgery he is expected to be back at full strength and competing for a roster spot when training camp opens. The second round saw the Blue Jackets select goaltender Oscar Dansk, who recently finished his first season in North America. Dansk was 11-23-6 for a sub-par Erie Otters team, but has flashed potential of being able to make the jump to the next level. Columbus also added goaltender Joonas Korpisalo in the third round. Both goaltenders are tall (6-2) and young, and could have a decent shot with the team in the future.
Adding a top forward this year is a priority, especially since the Blue Jackets were 25th in the league in goals per game. An exciting run that almost ended in a playoff berth has helped the Blue Jackets expand their fan base, and a smart draft will ensure that they stay in contention for years to come.