Photo: Swedish center Alexander Wennberg was the first of three picks in the first round by the Columbus Blue Jackets and new GM Jarmo Kekalainen (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)
The 2013 NHL Draft is one that will shape the future of first year general manager Jarmo Kekalainen. The NHL’s first Finnish General Manager had the luxury of picking three times in the first round (14th, 19th and 27th overall) and eight times total in the draft.
Photo: Finnish defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was the first of 11 players to have the Buffalo Sabres call their name at the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The 2013 NHL Draft was considered by many to be the deepest draft in the last decade, with potential franchise players not just available at the top of the order, but all the way through the first round and into the second.
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.