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Blue Jackets Prospect Awards

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Blue Jackets prospect awards live from your computer. This post i’ll give my take on the Blue Jackets top prospects by position and league with a few superlative like ones thrown in for fun. Now these are just my opinion and the positions are based off the listing on hockeysfuture.com mostly for the wingers so without further ado here we go.

BEST AHL PROSPECT
Tomas Kubalik (76GP 24-29-53)

Tomas Kubalik This award was a tough choice deciding between Kubalik and defenseman David Savard but I decided since Kubalik was among the AHL rookie scoring leaders and one of only two rookies to lead his team in scoring. Kubalik led the Falcons in scoring with 53 points and had 8 multi point games including 2 with 4 points. Kubalik will get a shot at making the Jackets with his impressive rookie season which included his first career multi point game in his NHL debut.

BEST CHL PROSPECT
Ryan Johansen (Portland-WHL 63GP 40-52-92)

This is the first of many awards young Mr. Johansen will be winning in this post and most of those awards are by the two sweetest words in the English language de-fault(Simpsons fans will get it). Johansen’s 92 points led the entire organization in scoring, now I know 92 points in the W probably can’t compare with the NHL or possibly even the AHL but 92 points is 92 points. Why I say he won by default well the next closest player at least in terms of points was 33 points behind him and that player didn’t join the organization until after the NHL trade deadline. I believe(along with most people that follow the team) that Johansen has a spot secured for next season even if it is just for the first 10 game audition like Rusty Klesla got so many years ago.

BEST NCAA PROSPECT
Cam Atkinson (JR-Boston College 39GP 31-21-52)

This is another award that was pretty much a easy decision given the lack of stars among the team’s college prospects with only goalie prospect Allen York possibly challenging him. Atkinson has developed into one of the most feared snipers in college hockey. Atkinson is the only player to score 30 or more goals over the last two seasons for a total of 61 including 19 on the power play and 6 shorthanded, Cam’s also the first Eagle to score 30 goals in back to back seasons since Brian Gionta in 99-01. Atkinson made his professional debut with the Springfield Falcons scoring 5 points in 5 games including 2 multi point games. My guess is that Atkinson will spend most of next season in Springfield possibly making his NHL debut.

BEST LW PROSPECT
Matt Calvert (Springfield 38GP 13-12-25, Columbus 42GP 11-9-20)
OK this one requires a explanation because most people might not consider Matt a prospect but I can show my work. A few weeks ago the Hockey News did a issue that had every NHL team’s all prospect team, when I tweeted it the position that sparked the most comments was at left wing which the issue said was Nikita Filatov. Me I’m a little more judgemental, of all the left wings listed on hockeysfuture the young jedi( thank you DBJ) had the best season of all of them. Filatov was well Filatov, 2011 2nd round pick Dalton Smith took a 15 point drop even though the team scored 32 more goals than the season before. Oliver Gabriel had a chance but suffered a season ending injury in January and last but not least Maksim Mayorov despite scoring his first NHL point he didn’t really do anything to show he deserved more than his usual late season call up.

BEST C PROSPECT
Ryan Johansen (Stats above with Best CHL Prospect)
This one barely requires an explanation because it’s pretty much the same story as above, Chaput joined the organization late but was still nowhere near Johansen in terms of points or even in how much his stock rose this year. Matt Rust scored the fewest goals of his collegiate career while teammate Kevin Lynch found the goal scoring part of his game scoring 11 after just 6 last season his assist total dropped from 10 to 5. Tomas Kana suffered multiple injuries derailing his season after posting career highs last year and it was just announced he’s heading back to the Czech Republic to play. Sean Collins had a career high but it was a career high of 15 points but was selected to serve as a assistant captain next year as a senior.

BEST RW PROSPECTS
Cam Atkinson and Tomas Kubalik (stats above)
Sorry folks but I hedged my bet on this one I really couldnt decide so I went pre-lockout and decided on a tie, I’ve said above why both these players earned there first awards and use those examples again with this one. Among the other RW prospects two suffered through injuries and two had career years. The good thing about the two that had career years is that they’ll be asked to replace scoring that was lost to players graduating including Jake Hansen at Minnesota that lost 4 of the team’s top 5 scorers.

BEST D PROSPECT
David Savard (Springfield-72GP 11-32-43)

David Savard may not be the Jacket’s top defense prospect in most people’s eyes but he certainly was the best last year. Savard led the organization in scoring and was in the top 10 in most offensive categories in the AHL for defensemen. My guess is that Savard will make his NHL debut at some point next year if not make the team out of camp. The Springfield blueline was probably the most crowded in all of hockey with nine on the roster at the end of the year and 2 more in Fort Wayne or injured. Add in six more unsigned the Blue Jackets have plenty of help coming down the pipeline.

BEST G PROSPECT
Allen York (JR-RPI 18-11-4 2.17GAA .924SV%)

Allen York was the Blue Jacket’s best goalie prospect all season long with little or no opposistion until Mathieu Corbeil was traded to Saint John. York was in net for 34 of the Engineers games allowing 3 goals or fewer in 30 of them including 2 shutouts. York signed with the Jackets after RPI was eliminated in the NCAA tournament and won 3 of his 4 starts with the Falcons and at least as of this writing he’s the only goalie other than Mason that’s signed for next season. I brought up Corbeil because if it wasn’t for that trade the Jackets goalie depth would’ve been in even more trouble, Corbeil won 13 of his 15 starts and played the majority of the playoff series against the Lewiston MAINEiacs(writer pours a bit of his 40 for the departed team) while with the Sea Dogs.

BEST OFFENSIVE DEFENSEMAN
David Savard
Kind of like with the right wing award everything I had to say about Savard I’ve already said so let’s move on.

BEST DEFENSIVE DEFENSEMAN
Will Weber (JR-Miami 33GP 1-10-11

The thing about the Blue Jacket’s defenseman prospects there’s a lot of skill but not many of those I HAVE TO BATTLE IN THE CORNERS AGAINST HIM???!!! kind of guys. This award was really a battle of two big guys one who’s coach compared him to a linebacker and our winner. Will “Frankenstein” Weber is who I’m giving this award to, someone on twitter(I forget who sorry) coined this nickname it’s just that I’m not brave enough to call the 6’4″ Weber that. Weber suffered a severe laceration on his neck but only missed 4 games with the injury. Weber has been nominated for CCHA Defensive Defenseman the last 2 years winning it last year, I bet the CBJ tried to sign the rugged blueliner but he’s heading back to Oxford for his senior year possibly being named captain after serving as a assistant captain last year. Dalton Prout is the only other prospect that I even thought of for this award, Prout has finished 2nd in a coaches poll for best defensive defenseman the last two seasons(Eastern Conference last year, Western Conference this year). Prout’s the player who’s coach compared him to a linebacker because of his number and playing style after he pulled a Ray Bourque in Saginaw(wore 5 in Barrie had to wear 55 in Saginaw).

BEST HIT BY A CBJ PROSPECT
Ryan Johansen on Adam Larsson in the World Juniors

OK so I didn’t see every hit by every Jacket’s prospect but I defy anyone to find a better one than this especially since Larsson is expected to go in the top 5 of this month’s draft. We can only hope this hit makes the draft shows a lot when Larsson is selected somehow pointing out a negative in his game.

BEST FIGHT INVOLVING A CBJ PROSPECT
Dalton Smith(Black) Vs Brock Beukeboom(White)

Again I didn’t see every fight but who doesn’t like a one punch knockout between two players who’s fathers/uncles(Smith’s Uncles are the Primeau Brothers) might’ve gone a few rounds in the 80′s. But the best part of this fight is how Smith uses his hand as a pillow as he celebrates. Smith’s part of this melee starts about 30 seconds in. This is a short documentary a filmmaker made about Dalton thought I’d post it again.

MOST LIKELY TO MAKE HIS NHL DEBUT NEXT SEASON
Ryan Johansen
David Savard

TOP/BEST PROSPECT
Ryan Johansen
C’mon people was there ever any doubt on who would win this award? A WHL writer I follow pointed out what a whirlwind year it’s been for The Johan going from being a 4th liner in the BCHL(a lower junior league) to playing on one of the best lines in junior hockey.

Well there you have it folks I know it went a little long but dont all awards shows? Anyhoo I thank you for reading my nonsense all year long and look forward to doing it again next year, starting with the draft and then traveling back up to Traverse City for the annual Rookie Tournament. Follow @CBJprospects to keep up to date on whatever I can find about the future Blue Jackets.

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