With the 2013 NHL Draft just days away, the Blue Jackets have quite a few options to consider. Looking back at what the organization has done in the past on Draft Day, it is hard to predict what June 30 will have in store. Let’s take a look back at what moves the Blue Jackets have made on Draft Day over the years.
2000: In their very first NHL Draft, the Blue Jackets made their first draft selection in franchise history and took defenseman Rostislav Klesla of the Brampton Battalion (OHL) fourth overall. Klesla played 10 seasons for the Blue Jackets, posting 133 points over 515 games for Columbus. The Blue Jackets chose 10 other players, including Petteri Nummelin and Andrej Nedorost, who both went on to play several NHL games.
2001: Tim Jackman, Aaron Johnson, Andrew Murray and Pascal Leclaire highlighted the decisions made by the Blue Jackets in the NHL Draft, hosted in Sunrise, Florida. Drafted eighth overall, Leclaire had an outstanding 2007-08 season in net for the Blue Jackets. Jackman has had the longest NHL career of the Blue Jackets’ 2001 draft picks, as he has played in 390 NHL games and played last season (2012-13) for the Calgary Flames.
2002: The Blue Jackets ended up with the first pick overall because they traded selections with the Florida Panthers, who previously held the No. 1 pick. With that selection, the Blue Jackets chose Rick Nash—arguably the best draft pick in franchise history. During his first season, Nash was nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie. In his second season, Nash shared the Rocket Richard Trophy (with Jarome Iginla and Ilya Kovalchuk) for scoring the most goals in the league that season when he put 41 pucks in the net. Nash played in 674 games and had 454 points during his time in Columbus, and was the club’s captain for four seasons.
Seven other players in the Blue Jackets’ draft class went on to see NHL action, including Joakim Lindstrom, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, Lasse Pirjeta, Jaroslav Balastik (remember his shootout prowess?), Greg Mauldin and Steven Goertzen. They all played in multiple games for the Blue Jackets throughout their careers.
2003: With 10 picks in hand, Nikolai Zherdev was selected fourth overall and made the biggest immediate impact for the organization. He played 57 games and contributed 34 points in the 2003-04 season as a rookie, and showed dynamic skill that lured scouts to the talented Russian forward. The Blue Jackets also selected Parma, Ohio native Dan Fritsche, making him the first Ohio-born player drafted in Blue Jackets history.
2004: Although the Blue Jackets selected 12 players in the NHL Draft, only five saw NHL ice time. Three of the five played in less than a full NHL season. One of those players was Alexandre Picard, who was selected eighth overall by the Blue Jackets.
2005: The Blue Jackets turned things around with the 2005 NHL Draft. This draft was a little different because it followed the 2004-05 NHL lockout, which resulted in the cancellation of an entire season. A lottery system was used, but picks depended on the number of playoff appearances over the previous three seasons and the number of times teams were awarded the first overall pick over the past four years. The Blue Jackets held eight picks in the NHL Draft and with those selections they drafted Jared Boll, Kris Russell, Adam McQuaid and Gilbert Brule. All four of these players went on to play an average of 300 games each. Both Boll and Russell made their NHL debuts in the 2007-08 season, making the Blue Jackets roster out of training camp.
2006: In one of the most successful draft years in Blue Jackets history, the team drafted Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett and Steve Mason. Brassard went sixth overall and made the jump to the NHL in the 2007-08 season for 17 games. He made the Blue Jackets’ roster and played 75+ games per season from 2009-2012. Mason took over the starting goaltender duties in 2008-09 and won the Calder Trophy as the club qualified for the playoffs for the first time. Before a devastating, season-ending shoulder injury early in the season, Brassard had been enjoying his most successful season as a professional with 25 points in 31 games. In 2013, both Brassard and Dorsett were part of a blockbuster trade that brought star winger Marian Gaborik to Columbus at the trading deadline.
2007: This was a big year for the Blue Jackets. Columbus hosted its first NHL Draft at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets also made a big move at the draft by selecting Jakub Voracek of the Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) at seventh overall. He averaged 80 games per season for the Blue Jackets between 2008-2011 and showed flashes of being an elite, play-making winger during his time in Columbus. Two of the remaining six picks (Maksim Mayorov and Allen York) played a handful of games in the NHL.
2008: You might recognize two names selected by the Blue Jackets on the weekend of June 20-21—Cam Atkinson and Matt Calvert were drafted this year and were big contributors to the club this past season. Sixth overall pick Nikita Filatov became the first Blue Jackets rookie in franchise history to record a hat trick in the 2008-09 season, when he tallied three goals in a Columbus victory over the Minnesota Wild at Nationwide Arena.
2009: The Blue Jackets selected just six players at the NHL Draft held in Montreal because they traded several of their picks. Of these six, first-round pick John Moore of the USHL’s Chicago Steel and fourth round selection David Savard were the only two players to see NHL ice time.
2010: Two current roster players were drafted in 2010, including No. 4 overall pick and budding star center Ryan Johansen. He made the NHL jump a year after he was drafted, playing almost entire seasons for the Blue Jackets in 2011-12 and 2012-13. During that time, he had 33 points in 107 games for the organization. The second current roster player wasn’t selected until the sixth round—that player is Dalton Prout.
2011: The Blue Jackets traded their first round pick (eighth overall) the 2011 NHL Draft in the Jeff Carter deal, so their first selection was Boone Jenner out of the OHL in the second round at No. 37 overall. Jenner impressed scouts with his leadership on and off the ice, and his ability to impact a game regardless of the role he was placed in. Though he hasn’t seen NHL time (neither have any other Blue Jackets draftees from the 2011 draft class), he and the five other draft picks hope to make the jump to the NHL in the near future.
2012: In Pittsburgh, the Blue Jackets selected Ryan Murray with the second overall pick. The Blue Jackets picked five other players in the draft, including goaltenders Oscar Dansk and Joonas Korpisalo, wingers Josh Anderson and Daniel Zaar, and sturdy defenseman Gianluca Curcuruto. None have seen NHL ice time yet, but all have succeeded in their respective leagues in the 2012-13 season.
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