A silver lining in a bad season for the Columbus Blue Jackets

By now, you know the Columbus Blue Jackets are both rebuilding and have been struck by the injury bug. The promise of a fun season quickly gave way to the harsh reality that both rebuilds and injuries are deadly. It is easy for Blue Jackets fans to feel dejected as the team takes the ice overmatched due to the current situation. Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen has stated his team is retooling and not rebuilding. Looking at the entire organization, Kekalainen may be more right than you think.

Solid drafting has put the Columbus Blue Jackets in a position where prospects taking time to develop, also lends to the hope of a brighter tomorrow. This is where the Blue Jackets are currently, struggling on ice while prospects are developing. Yet, it is in development that there is hope for Columbus.

There is not much I can add to David Jiricek that many already know. He has the makings of an elite top-pairing defenseman. A deeper dive and LD-Denton Mateychuk, LD-Stanislav Svozil, RD- Corson Ceulemans, and RW- Jordan  Dumais have separated themselves and look to be part of better days.

Denton Mateychuk, who was drafted in the 2022 NHL Entry Level Draft, plays like a rover. Mateychuk is all over the ice and has a nose for the puck. While it is likely to be 2024 before he is NHL ready, Mateychuk has the makings of a solid defender.

Stanislav Svozil, a 2021 third round draft pick, has elevated his game and could be a very nice pick for the Blue Jackets. An offensive defenseman, Svozil is a welcome sight in Columbus, where the team really likes defenders who can score. Due to areas he needs to clean up in his defensive game, 2024 would be the soonest to expect Svozil in Columbus.

Corson Ceulemans, another offensive defender, but a very dangerous one at that. The 2021 Blue Jackets first round draft pick opted to return to the University of Wisconsin to develop. He has become an outstanding two-way player, and Ceulemans could end up in Columbus, along with Jiricek, next season.

Jordan Dumais, drafted in the third round in 2022; Dumais scored 109 points last season. His skating held him back from being a higher selection. The Blue Jackets have put skating at the top of Dumais development list. If he can improve that aspect along with his offensive game, the Blue Jackets may have a sleeper on their hands.

It goes without saying the Blue Jackets are staring at a lottery pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Level Draft. The team is in desperate need of centers. With three quality defensive prospects in the pipeline, two of which should compete for roster spots next season, the Blue Jackets are in better shape than it looks now.

A healthy roster and some top prospects make 2023-’24 a season that could see a turnaround in Columbus.

Stanley Cup Aspirations Cue’ the Duck Boats Pod

The boys are back after a long break but have plenty to talk about as the playoffs are in full swing. We go series by series, looking at how teams have fared so far and who will come out on top. Thanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Stanley Cup Aspirations
  2. The Final Countdown
  3. Here Come the Playoffs
  4. Home Stretch
  5. Kevy Cooks

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