The Blue Jackets success at the draft (or lack thereof) -1st Round
The NHL draft is less than two weeks away and the Blue Jackets decide to fire the man who has run the draft table for the team’s first 11 drafts. So with Don Boyd being shown the door I decided to do what I do best, dig through stats and figure out how the Blue Jackets actually have done in the draft. I’ve gone through all 11 drafts and got the stats for every player that’s played for the organization be it in the NHL or any of the team’s minor league affiliates. Now I’m not going to bore you with every player’s stats at every level. One other thing, all the stats I bring up are only with the Blue Jackets, plus I’ll bring up a few players that might of been a better choice, which I did as a poll on my old blog and the DBJ’s site (but I stopped due to lack of interest) with a few of the Blue Jacket’s first round selections. Now I’m totally basing my players we should’ve picked on if they would put the same career numbers with the Blue Jackets and I know they might have been completely different players if they played for the CBJ.
Well let’s start with the picks that most CBJ fans can name, the ones that get all the hoopla the first round picks. The Jackets have had and used 11 first round picks with only one All Star among them. This has been the only All Star drafted by the Jackets. The Jackets have picked in the top 10 in 10 of it’s 11 drafts with only the draft after the team’s lone playoff appearence being outside the top 10. The team’s first round picks have played a combined 2121 games scoring 470 goals and adding 627 assists for 1097 points along with 45 wins by a goaltender and 10 shutouts. Now if that sounds impressive well let’s have some fun with subtraction shall we? Now take out the stats of NHL star Rick Nash, that takes the numbers down to 211 goals, 398 assists for 609 points. Now not counting John Moore and of course Ryan Johansen almost all of the Blue Jackets first round picks have played at least a full season with the club, the only two that haven’t are potential bust Nikita Filatov and UBER bust Alexandre Picard. If you want to find a positive, Picard leads all CBJ first round picks in scoring at the AHL level…doesn’t help? well it was worth a shot.
2000 1st Rd Pick: #4 Rostislav Klesla(D) Stats: 515GP 41-92-133
PLAYER WE PROBABLY SHOULD’VE PICKED: Scott Hartnell(#6 NSH) This was a tough choice as most of the players selected after Klesla were either busts or ended up playing for the Jackets(Torres and Hainsey).
2001 1st Rd Pick: #8 Pascal Leclaire(G) Stats: 125GP 45-55-11 10SO
PLAYER WE PROBABLY SHOULD’VE PICKED: Dan Hamhuis (#12 NSH), R.J. Umberger (#18 VAN) This was another fairly tough one with a few busts, the only reason I chose Hamhuis is because he may have at least helped fill the almost always open top defenseman spot and Umberger well I’m a homer get over it.
2002 1st Rd Pick: #1 Rick Nash(LW) Stats: 592GP 259-229-488 If you think there’s another player we should’ve picked you’re out of your mind. Let’s move on
2003 1st Rd Pick: #4 Nikolai Zherdev(RW) Stats: 283GP 76-105-181
PLAYER WE PROBABLY SHOULD’VE PICKED: Too many to list. Let’s face it while Zherdev was great for a highlight reel goal every now and then he was a drama queen and a half. Pretty much every player selected from picks 5-14 is either a star or at least a decent player, including 4 all stars and 2 team captains and potential CBJ Jeff Carter at 11.
2004 1st Rd Pick: #8 Alexandre Picard(LW) Stats: 67GP 0-2-2
PLAYER WE PROBABLY SHOULD’VE PICKED: ANYBODY!!! Sorry for shouting but this is a rough one, but the kicker is most of the guys behind him have never developed into much either other than the #13 pick Drew Stafford(BUF). The CBJ never should have traded picks with draft host Carolina and selected Andrew Ladd who I thought we should of drafted.
2005 1st Rd Pick: #4 Gilbert Brule(C) Stats: 146GP 12-20-32
PLAYER WE SHOULD’VE PICKED: Anze Kopitar(#11 LA) This one was easy because it’s common knowledge that every other person in the Blue Jackets organization wanted to select Kopitar but no good ol’ Doug MacLean wanted Brule.
2006 1st Rd Pick: #6 Derrick Brassard(C) Stats: 201GP 37-73-110
DID WE GET IT RIGHT?: I’ll be honest I can’t say, including Brassard and the 10 players selected after him he’s 5th in scoring but has played in the second fewest games of the 5 leading scorers.
2007 1st Rd Pick: #7 Jakub Voracek (RW) Stats: 146GP 39-95-134
DID WE GET IT RIGHT?: Yes, among the whole 1st round Voracek is 3rd in scoring behind Patrick Kane and Sam Gagner. The only other possible might have been Logan Coutre picked at 9 but he only exploded onto the scene this season.
2008 1st Rd Pick: #6 Nikita Filatov (LW) Stats: 44GP 6-7-13
DID WE GET IT RIGHT?: I wanna say maybe but let’s face it no. Again we could of selected one of two players that could of helped end our never ending search for a big defenseman or at least a power play quarterback. The big defenseman was available and how big you ask? oh he’s just a little guy at 6’7″ wait a minute?! Ok I kid but how great would Tyler Myers(#12 BUF) look in a Jacket’s sweater. As for the power play quarterback you had Erik Karlsson which Ottawa took who is fifth in scoring among all the players drafted in 2008(Myers is fourth).
As for the 2009 and 2010 drafts I’m gonna leave John Moore and Ryan Johansen alone, for 2009 not many players picked that low in the first round have played in the league. For 2010, ok I’m biased, I’m a Johansen fan (pay no attention to the Winterhawks jersey I’ll be wearing to the Draft Party), and people will say we should of picked Cam Fowler or Jeff Skinner. Ok yes those two had great rookie seasons but what would have happened if they had gotten hurt and/or didn’t play as much as they did.
So there you have it folks all of the Blue Jackets first round picks and how we did. Within the next few days I’ll get started on the second round which from doing a little digging today it won’t be pretty it’s gonna be ugly.