Photo: The 2nd overall pick in 2012, Ryan Murray’s 2012-13 season in Everett was cut short by a shoulder injury (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
The Columbus Blue Jackets were eliminated from playoff contention on the last day of the season when the Detroit Red Wings picked up their 24th victory to bring its point total to 56. Despite coming up a point short from its second trip to the playoffs, the new look Blue Jackets exceeded expectations after adding depth forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov from New York. A mid-season trade brought Marian Gaborik over from the Rangers and the star winger finished with 27 points after posting 19 with New York.
Photo: Columbus’ 37th overall pick in 2011, Boone Jenner set career-highs with 45 goals and 82 points for the OHL’s Oshawa Generals in 2012-13 (courtesy of Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
The Columbus Blue Jackets have a ton of depth along its blue line with a prospect class led by players such as Ryan Murray, Mike Reilly, and Dalton Prout. Its defenders seem to be improving consistently and its undersized forwards keep getting quicker. Cam Atkinson and Boone Jenner lead the playmaking forwards with quick routes to the net and crisp passing. Columbus’ prospects awards shed light on some of the key players who we could see dominating the NHL in a few short years.
Photo: Notre Dame forward T.J. Tynan, one of the Blue Jackets’ highest NCAA draft picks, experienced a bit of a down year on the score sheet in his junior season (courtesy of Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)
A majority of their early draft picks come from the CHL, but the Columbus Blue Jackets fill out the rest of the system with low risk role players from the NCAA and goaltenders from Europe. Forward prospects like fifth round pick Seth Ambroz and third round pick T.J. Tynan fit into this criteria. Goaltenders Joonas Korpisalo and Anton Forsberg highlight the Blue Jackets’ prospects playing in Europe.
Photo: Cam Atkinson is one of several Blue Jackets prospects who has seen regular time in the lineup for Columbus during the 2013 NHL season (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon SMI)
Welcome to the Hockey's Future Spring NHL Team Rankings, the staff's ranking of each NHL team's system based on the strength of the entire prospect pool. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The ranking is done twice a year, with this edition being an update to the Fall ranking.
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.