Photo: University of Minnesota defenseman and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Ryan Collins won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2014 U18 World Championship (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)
For the past three years, the Columbus Blue Jackets have used first and second round draft picks to steadily build a solid defensive core for the club’s future. Read more»
Photo: Zach Werenski was a force on the blueline for the U.S. at the 2015 World Junior Championships, even pitching in offensively with two points in five games. (Courtesy of John Crouch/Icon Sportswire)
Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen and his brain trust molded the future of the surging organization with a pair of trades and a fantastic draft in June. At the draft, the Blue Jackets identified a need to boost their defense and came away with a number of high-quality rearguards. Read more»
Photo: Kerby Rychel has successfully adjusted to the professional game, with 33 points in 51 games thus far. (Courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire)
Injuries forced the Blue Jackets to dig into their prospect pool this season. That allowed highly-touted first rounders Alexander Wennberg, Marko Dano and Kerby Rychel to get their first taste of NHL action. Columbus also had a few pleasant surprises; Anton Forsberg came into his own between the pipes, and Austin Madaisky has had a breakout season on the blue line for the Falcons. Read more»
Photo: Forward Sonny Milano was one of seven picks the Columbus Blue Jackets made in the 2014 NHL Draft. Milano was picked 16th overall. (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)
The Columbus Blue Jackets were coming off a successful seasons entering the 2014 NHL Draft and the future looks bright for the youthful team. After having three first round picks and eight overall picks in last year’s draft, Columbus was able to address a lot of its offensive needs. This year GM Jarmo Kekalainen put together a balanced draft that added depth to the Blue Jackets’ system in every area.
Photo: Team USA defenseman and 2014 prospect Ryan Collins is ranked 57th among North American skaters by Central Scouting for the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
Team USA returned to the top of the U18 hockey heap after defeating the Czech Republic, 5-2, to win gold at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship in Lappeenranta, Finland. The U.S. had a string of four consecutive gold medal wins at this tournament ended by Canada at the 2013 event.