Photo: Cam Atkinson, who has 10 points in 21 games with Columbus this season, ranks as the top forward prospect in the mid-season Top 20 ranking (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon SMI)
The Columbus Blue Jackets still have strong defensive depth and a good amount of young wingers slowly reaching their potential. Unfortunately for Columbus not all of these wingers can be Cam Atkinson or Boone Jenner. Much like the deep defensive core, the Blue Jackets are riddled with gritty forwards that get in the dirty areas, but have trouble finding the back of the net. Although the Blue Jackets have a significant amount of household names, the back-end prospects in the talent pool are not improving nearly as much as they should.
Photo: Fifth round pick Matt Calvert suited up for his 65th career NHL game on Monday, which graduates the winger from prospect status at Hockey's Future. (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon SMI)
The Columbus Blue Jackets entered the 2008 NHL Entry Draft as a team in rebuilding mode. The 2007-08 season was the first full year for Mike Priest as President and Scott Howson as General Manager of the club, and because he became GM just prior to the 2007 Draft, the 2008 class was one of Howson's first chances to make a mark on the future of the franchise.
Photo: In his first season with the Springfield Falcons, winger Jonathan Audy-Marchessault ranks second on the team with 28 points. (courtesy of Bill Streicher/Icon SMI)
Everything is going right for the Springfield Falcons, the AHL affiliate for the Columbus Blue Jackets. They are at the top of the Northeast Divison and rank fourth in the AHL with 39 points through 30 games. They have flourished under the play of goaltender Curtis McElhinney who has registered a league-leading six shutouts.
Photo: Notre Dame's leading scorer each of the past two seasons, junior forward T.J. Tynan will again be expected to be the driving force behind the Irish offense in 2012-13. (courtesy of Zuma Press/Icon SMI)
The Columbus Blue Jackets had top five picks in two of the last three NHL drafts. As a result there system has a good amount of quality prospects that should be seeing formidable playing time in the future.
Photo: Defenseman Ryan Murray of the WHL's Everett Silvertips was the top pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2012 NHL Draft, and is now their top prospect (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
After finishing last in the Central Division the past three seasons, the Columbus Blue Jackets have plenty of top draft picks to begin rebuilding the hockey team.