Friday, February 03, 2006

Columbus Bluejackets

Rick Nash is the game’s best young power forward. Nikolai Zherdev is emerging as one of the NHL’s most explosive young forwards. Defenseman Rostislav Klesla is a building block, too. Jarsoslav Balastik could do what David Vyborny has done for Columbus -– develop into a nightly scoring threat.
How did the Blue Jackets finally make it? It took years of good drafting. Klesa came fourth overall in 2000. Goaltender Pascal Leclaire, still a prospect, was picked eighth overall in 2001. Nash was the first overall pick in 2002. Zherdev came fourth overall in 2003.
We’re still waiting to see what top picks Alexandre Picard (eighth overall, 2004) and Gilbert Brule (sixth overall, 2005) will do. But with all these very high picks, the Blue Jackets may grow a base similar to what the Quebec Nordiques built before moving to Colorado.
And we all saw how that turned out.
MacLean had to supplement those blue chippers by acquiring key veterans along the trail, like Vyborny (a free agent signed out of the Czech Republic), goaltender Marc Denis, defenseman Bryan Berard and defenseman Adam Foote,Federoff.

No comments: