Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bluejackets looking for talent NHL-caliber talent in the NCAA

Over their first five years as a franchise, the Columbus Blue Jackets have not had good luck in identifying NHL-caliber talent in the NCAA. In fact, only three former college alums currently skate on the Columbus ice, and only one of them, defenseman Duvie Wescott, was developed in-house by the Blue Jackets.
Does any member of the current class of Blue Jacket NCAA prospects have a chance at making an impact on the Nationwide Arena ice? Of the seven current collegians, none have the appearance of developing into an NHL regular at this stage of their amateur careers.
Forwards
Jeff Genovy -- Clarkson University, Senior, 6’3, 202 lbs.
A highly-touted prospect when Columbus made him their fourth pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft (third round, 96th overall), forward Jeff Genovy has developed into a strong, powerful two-way forward in his final season with the Clarkson Golden Knights of the ECACHL. Following seasons of 13, nine and seven points, the big winger has begun to round out his physical game with the scoring touch he displayed in his single season of action in the USHL, posting the highest totals of his collegiate career with seven goals and 13 assists over the first 24 games of the Knights 2005-06 campaign.
Defensemen
Jekabs Redlihs -- Boston University, Senior, 6’2, 182 lbs.
Cut from the same cloth as fellow Riga, Latvia native and current Colorado defenseman Karlis Skastins, Jekabs Redlihs is a large, gritty stay-at-home defenseman for the Boston University Terriers. Manning the blue line for the same Terrier squad as McGuirk, Redlihs is preparing to finish off a collegiate career shortened by injury. Never a consistent scoring threat, Redlihs has seen his point totals drop off significantly from a career high four-goal, 16-assist freshman campaign. Redlihs followed that up with a six-point sophomore year cut short by a broken collarbone, and a somewhat disappointing one-point effort in his 40-game junior season.

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