directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: THN looks towards next season

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, June 6, 2008

THN looks towards next season

Looks like I'm not the only one getting excited for next season. THN has a quick look into some interesting story lines for next season and low and behold your Columbus Blue Jackets are at the top of the list:

Columbus finally getting a top line
With all due respect, David Vyborny does not an elite line make. The Czech center’s days as a Blue Jacket are apparently coming to a close, but a young countryman is waiting in the wings.

Jakub Voracek, Columbus’ first pick (seventh overall) in 2007 is a dynamite playmaker who would look really good alongside Rick Nash. True, Voracek is a right winger, but with his passes and Nash’s finishes, the center on that line faces a lot less pressure.

My humble advice? Go with a youth line and promote 2006 first-rounder Derick Brassard to top-line status. Brassard is no slouch with the feeding, either; he had 72 assists in his last full healthy season with Drummondville of the Quebec League.

You never can tell with Blue Jacket rookies but damn this team could use and is due for a break. Chicago had Kane and Towes step in and became impact players last season. Washington had Backstrom. Phoenix had Mueller. How nice would it be if both Brassard and Voracek could contribute in upwards of 40+ points each next year?

Voracek certainly won't be expected to take on a top 6 role and would have to play himself into it. Brassard, on the other hand, has a very valuable year of pro experience under his belt and really turned it on down the stretch for the Crunch. Depending on what Howson can do this summer it would not surprise me if he nails down a #2 center position.

A friend of mine put it best, Brassard will probably see top 6 minutes but when the Jackets have a slim lead and they need to shut the other team down he'll be moved back down the lineup.

Makes sense.

The good news is that Hitch said on his radio show is that there are some 6 to 7 prospects who are spending the summer in Columbus to prepare for next year ala Jared Boll last summer. We've heard Brassard is one of those guys....not sure about Voracek though.

Columbus isn't in the business of counting on rookies to carry a team anymore and I doubt Hitch will run with a "young scoring line" as the writer suggests. There will be major additions to offense and defense but if those two kids can come in and make an impact that could really transform the Jackets offense and make them, perhaps, a team that can roll 3 lines that can score.

Wouldn't that be somethin?

(man I love our jerseys!)


1 comment:

Neil said...

Is it a good sign to place SO MUCH hope in unproven (in the NHL) prospects? Or is it a sign of how low an opinion we have of the rest of the team?

I'm not sure Brassard and Voracek are going to be like Kane and Toews, and even if they are, that means next year could still look nasty (a la Chicago this past year).

I'm innoculating myself regarding Derek and Jakub because I want more than "yet another building year."

So did the white jersey RESIST STAINS? I really want to know.