CBJ SELECTS CURCURUTO: If this were an "all-name" draft, the Blue Jackets might be contending for top honors! With the 182nd overall pick (seventh round), Columbus selected defenseman Gianluca Curcuruto from the OHL's Sault-Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
Curcuruto is a native of Toronto and just completed his second full season in the OHL. He is listed at 6-foot and 195 lbs., and is a left-handed shot on the blue line. In 2011-12, he registered three goals and 16 points in 63 games, after posting one goal and 25 points in 56 games the previous year.
We will have more on all of today's Blue Jackets draft picks following Scott Howson's media session, which is scheduled to take place shortly after the conclusion of the seventh and final round of the draft.
UPDATE: The Blue Jackets have selected RW Daniel Zaar from Sweden with the No. 152 overall pick in the NHL Draft. Zaar is regarded as a skilled offensive player whose game has continued to develop as he's grown older. He checks in at 5-foot-11 and 170 lbs., and has the ability to both score pretty goals with his accurate shot and drive hard to the net.
Here's a brief scouting report on Zaar, courtesy of Eliteprospects.com:
"A pretty all-round player with an excellent shot - accurate and hard. Also a fine one-time release. Has overall pretty good offensive skills and usually finds the net. Should continue improving his speed and strength."
Zaar posted 14 goals and 38 points in 44 games this past season with Rogle U20 in Sweden, and added five goals and eight points during the club's seven playoff contests. He appears to be a rising star in the Swedish hockey ranks, and his offensive numbers have improved as he climbed the competitive ladder.
At the World U18 tournament this past year, Zaar tallied one goal in Sweden's three games.
The Blue Jackets have made their first three selections on the second day of the NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. So far, GM Scott Howson and his staff have added two highly-rated goaltenders and an up-and-coming forward from the Ontario Hockey League.
Here is a recap of today's additions to the CBJ organization, courtesy of the Blue Jackets' public relations department:
DANSK: Columbus used its second round pick to select goaltender Oscar Dansk with the 31st overall selection. The 6-foot-2, 186-pound native of Stockholm, Sweden posted a 2.82 goals-against average, .910 save percentage and two shutouts in 28 games with Brynas Jr. of the Swedish Junior League in 2011-12. He recorded a 2.70 GAA, .911 SV% and one shutout in 21 games with Brynas Jr. in 2010-11.
KORPISALO: In the third round, the Blue Jackets selected Jokerit Jr. (Finland Jr.) goaltender Joonas Korpisalo with the 62nd overall pick. A native of Pori, Finland, he registered a 2.04 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and four shutouts in 38 games with Jokerit Jr. of the Finnish Junior League. He also represented Finland at the 2012 World Under-18 Junior Championships and went 3-3 with a 3.02 GAA, .902 SV% and one shutout in seven games, helping the club reach the bronze medal game.
ANDERSON: Columbus used its fourth round pick to select London Knights (Ontario Hockey League) right wing Josh Anderson with the 95th overall pick. A 6-foot-1, 183-pound native of Burlington, Ontario, he registered 12-10-22, 34 penalty minutes and a +17 plus/minus rating in 64 games. He added 2-3-5, four penalty minutes and was +4 in 19 playoff games, helping the Knights win the OHL championship.
Stay tuned, there's plenty more to come from Pittsburgh!
THIS JUST IN: The Blue Jackets have selected LW Josh Anderson of the London Knights (OHL) with the 95th overall pick. The pick originally belonged to the Vancouver Canucks, but was acquired in the Samuel Pahlsson trade at the trading deadline in February.
In 2011-12, Anderson debuted into major junior hockey and played his first season with the Knights. He put up 12 goals and 22 points during his rookie campaign, and is considered to be a two-way forward that can check effectively and chip in on the offensive end.
Barring trade, Columbus does not have another selection in the fourth round. We'll keep you updated on any news that comes down the pike as the draft continues here at CONSOL Energy Center!
The Blue Jackets have made their first two selections on day two of the NHL Draft -- and a pair of young, talented goaltenders will be joining the organization. Columbus used the 31st overall pick to draft Oscar Dansk from Shattuck St. Mary's, and he said today he will be coming over to North America this fall to play major junior hockey.
His rights are not owned by any team at this point, but that should be settled in the next few days, he said. Dansk is regarded to be one of the top goaltenders in this year's class, and scouts say he is a very skilled puck-handler and plays an athletic style between the pipes.
Here are some comments from Dansk shortly after his selection:
What was it like when you heard your name called, it happened pretty quickly?
Yeah, like you said it was really quick….I didn’t know what to expect coming in here today. I just came in with a smile and hoping everything went good so it did and I was really happy.
Did you think you would hear your name called last night?
I had my hopes on going last night. I was really excited coming in last night too. It was a little disappointing walking out of here after sitting here for a few hours. But coming back here today I was happy and I was ready to go.
What are your thoughts about heading to Columbus, have you had a chance to talk to any members of the organization yet?
I did at the combine, other than that we really haven’t spoken much after that, but we had a good conversation at the combine and I’m really happy that they chose me.
What’s the plan for you going forward for you now, I imagine you would go back to Sweden and play there and continue your development?
I’m planning on coming over here and playing major junior actually. It’s going to be really exciting.
Do you have any idea where it will be?
No, not right now. We’ll see in a few days.
JACKETS ADD KORPISALO: Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson and amateur scouting director Tyler Wright each made it clear that adding goaltending prospects to the organization would be a focal point of this year's draft. They stayed true to their word and used their first two selections today on netminders -- both with a European flavor and who are regarded as key cogs in a deep goaltender class.
With respect to Korpisalo, he's a 6-foot-2, 163 lb. goaltender who hails from Pori, Finland. The 18-year-old has played two seasons in the renowned Jokerit organization in Finland: in 2010-11, he played 15 games for Jokerit's under-18 club and posted a 2.55 goals-against average and .924 save percentage.
The next season, he made the jump to Jokerit's Finnish junior club and suited up for 55 games. His numbers got even better -- Korpisalo lowered his goals-against average to 2.04 in those starts, and posted four shutouts along with a .904 save percentage.
Korpisalo began and finished the year as Central Scouting's third-ranked European goaltender.
Well, that was fun -- are you ready for (a lot) more?
After last night's thrilling ride through the first round of the NHL Draft, we're back at it for rounds 2-7 at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Roll call has just taken place, and was conducted by NHL senior vice president Jim Gregory (he does a fantastic job).
Ryan Murray and I walked into the rink together this morning, and he was still smiling ear-to-ear as he made his way to the Blue Jackets draft table to take in the second day's events. Columbus is on the clock right off the bat, and owns the No. 31 pick in the second round of the draft.
Keep it locked to the blog and BlueJackets.com, because the picks will be coming in fast and furious. We pack six rounds of action into roughly five hours...it's going to be fun!
The following is a recap of Howson's media session:
When you saw Murray fall to No. 2, did that end the discussion of trading the pick?
"We got a very attractive offer to move off, too, and we just said no. We got another offer from the same team and we said no again. They kept coming, but we were locked in on Ryan Murray. He was No. 1 on our list and that's the guy we wanted to take."
Would you have accepted the trade offers had Murray been chosen first overall?
Did you have a deal in place before the draft, should Murray go first?
"I had a tentative deal in place if Murray was gone. It's never a deal until it's done, but the framework was there, yeah."
Did all Rick Nash talk stop during the draft?
How much did you talk to (former Silvertips coach w/Murray) Craig Hartsburg before you made the decision?
"I talked to him briefly on the phone, but we had an hour lunch yesterday and talked a lot about Ryan Murray there. Anyone that's come in contact with Ryan just raves about him. It wasn't a hard decision at all."
How exciting is it to add a player like Ryan to an already-strong group of defensemen?
"It's certainly the strongest part of our team, and I think it's crucial to win in the NHL from the back end out. We added a goalie today, so hopefully we're getting a little sturdier in the defensive zone and in defending. Now we're going to have to address how we score."
Is Bobrovsky a player you had interest in for a while?
"Yeah. I've talked to (Flyers GM Paul Holmgren) about him for the last month. After the season ended, he said he might be moving him and we had some interest, and these things go back and forth. We got really serious the last three or four days. Especially as the goaltending market started to dwindle -- Lindback got traded, Harding re-signed...so the options started to become more and more limited."
Does Murray have a chance to be an NHL player this year?
"It's hard to say. I think he's got a chance. I think if you talk to people, most of the people I talked to said Yakupov and Murray were the guys that had the greatest chance to play in the league (this year). But hey, that's going to be decided by him in training camp. It's as simple as that."
Do you see offensive upside with Murray?
"I think he has that potential, yes. It's not his whole calling card, but he can still be a really useful player if he doesn't generate a lot of points. But it can be there. I think that's a little of an unknown with how much offense is he going to give you in the NHL."
Did anything make you think about keeping this year's 30th pick (from LA)?
"We were going right down to the wire. Dean (Lombardi) was calling me at 26, 27 and I said we've got to wait. There were two players that we wanted to see if they fall at 28 and then we might take the gamble thinking they might be there at 30 or 31. As it turned out, one of them was gone, so it made the decision easy after a certain pick."
What are some of the impressive qualities about Murray that made him stand out?
"Probably pedigree. Hockey sense, intangibles, character, leadership. I think they're all good players. It's not something you easily decide, but it became pretty clear to us."
Have you ever seen a crop of defensemen this deep?
"It reminded me of the Doughty, Bogosian, Pietrangelo and Schenn draft at the top. I think six of the first eight were defensemen or something like that. That's a lot of defensemen, especially when the trend recently has been to go after forwards early because they tend to play earlier. This was a unique draft in that way."
How much activity do you expect on the 31st pick?
"I've already had two offers. We'll consider anything, yeah. I will say there's a player there that we're pretty excited about."