The first step to our mock draft is to establish the list of players that will be available for the Las Vegas franchise to draft. To do this, we decided to have a blogger from each team represent their own franchise and select the players that will be protected from the Mock Expansion Draft available player pool. To see the rules which were followed to protect players, hit this link.
Next up, we have the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets are being represented by Cody Byers from UnionAndBlue.com.
- G – Sergei Bobrovsky
- F – Boone Jenner
- F – Brandon Dubinsky
- F – Brandon Saad
- F – Cam Atkinson
- F – Ryan Johansen
- F – Nick Foligno
- F – Matt Calvert
- F – William Karlsson
- F – Alexander Wennberg
- D – Jack Johnson
- D – David Savard
- D – Ryan Murray
- D – Cody Goloubef
- D – Andrew Bodnarchuk
Analysis from UnionAndBlue.com:
When talking about the Blue Jackets and who they might protect, it may seem pretty easy to an outsider. And this season, that might just be the case. The Blue Jackets are a young team, the average age for the players who made the list are just a tick under 25. I approached the list a little different than others may have. The thinking behind my picks are, “who can I live without?” and “who might fly under the radar in the draft”.
First off, I started with only saving one goalie. While it’s not a knock on our AHL guys, Bobrovsky just turned 27 before the season. When Bobrovsky is on, he’s a top goalie in the league. It can be safe to say that “Bob” will be central in the CBJ’s plan’s moving forward.
Like every NHL team, there are a few players that I have no intention of saving from the expansion draft. If I’m allowing anybody up for grabs Jared Boll and Rene Bourque are in the mix from the start. While they have looked better under Tortorella, that’s not saying much. While I like Gregory “Soupy” Campbell and David Clarkson, they’re in their 30’s and find themselves on the 4th line of a team that’s struggling this season. I don’t want to lose Clarkson or Soupy, but they don’t have the value at this point in their careers to garner a save. On the Defensive side, Fedor Tyutin is 32 and his best days of skating are behind him. While I love Dalton Prout when he throws the gloves, his actual hockey skills seem to be lacking, when you can only keep a few defensemen, these 2 are the “easy outs.”
As time passed, the choices became a bit more difficult. On the forward side I was left a decision of do I keep young players like Karlsson or Wennberg in place of a veteran like Scott Hartnell? It was a touch decision but after the season Hartsy will be 34 and though he’s still contributing, his one to two years of contribution left doesn’t outweigh the possible career length Karlsson on Wennberg would have in Columbus. On the blue line the Jackets had really great production from David Savard and Jack Johnson, on the next two lines though, it’s really hit and miss. Ryan Murray was a 2012, 2nd overall draft pick, I can’t see the CBJ letting that walk period. Cody Goloubef seemed to be bright spot in our bottom 4, but his broken jaw makes the sample size a lot smaller. Kevin Connauton has been stepping up lately but I don’t see the upside in his game to make me save him over Goloubef.
Overall this seems like the “safe route” to go with the players. I don’t have any crazy predictions of someone turning it on later, but at the start of December, this seems to be the best option.
The entire list of unprotected players that will be available for Team Lane and Team Pothier to select from can be found here.
To see more team explanations just like this one, check out The Sin Bin Mock Expansion Draft Landing Page.