All-Blogs.net directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Depth charges

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Depth charges

I thought today I'd take a look at the top 10 players in each position (top 5 for goalies) and how they stack up against one another in terms of organizational depth. This isn't necessarily where they ultimately project but instead where I think each player ranks in terms of the big team heading into camp.

Left Wing
1. Rick Nash
2. Fredrik Modin
3. Jason Chimera
4. Andrew Murray
5. Nikita Filatov
6. Tom Sestito
7. Alex Picard
8. John Vigilante
9. Maxim Mayorov
10. Nick Sucharski

Center
1. RJ Umberger
2. Derick Brassard
3. Michael Peca
4. Manny Malhotra
5. Mike York
6. Jiri Novotny
7. Craig MacDonald
8. Derek MacKenzie
9. Steve Kelly
10. Kirill Starkov

Right Wing
1. Kristian Huselius
2. Raffi Torres
3. Jared Boll
4. Jakub Voracek
5. Derek Dorsett
6. Adam Pineault
7. Stefan Legein
8. Jake Hansen
9. Peter Pohl
10. Robert Nyholm

Defense
1. Fedor Tyutin
2. Mike Commodore
3. Jan Hejda
4. Rusty Klesla
5. Kristian Backman
6. Kris Russell
7. OK Tollefsen
8. Aaron Rome
9. Marc Methot
10. Grant Clitsome

Goaltending
1. Pascal Leclaire
2. Fredrik Norrena
3. Steve Mason
4. Dan LaCosta
5. Allen York

Again I think our organization's strength lies in its wings but I think every other aspect has certainly gotten stronger this past year.

With Mason turning pro we have some nice depth in goatending.

Center is still our weakest position but it looks better than last year when we had Fedorov/Peca/Malhotra/Novoty/MacKenzie as our options down the middle. Its gotten both younger and more skilled in guys like Umberger and Brassard and added more NHL experienced depth with guys like York, MacDonald and Kelly.

A year ago it would have been pretty easy to put together the list for defensemen but Howson clearly saw an organizational weakness on the blueline and has gone hard at addressing it. I think the top four of Tyutin/Commodore/Klesla/Hejda are pretty interchangable but I went with Tyutin as #1 because I think he's the best in all 3 zones. Rounding out the top 10 this year was difficult with guys like Holden/Sigalet/Wilson right there on the bubble.

Since Howsons arrival he has added to the blueline: Tyutin, Commodore, Hejda, Backman, Ruth, Sigalet, Weber, Rome, Wilson, Holden, Goloubef, Delisle, Olson & Regner

The departed have been: Hainsey, Westcott, Foote, Wright & Frechette

Come and gone: Tarnstrom

Remember of course that any depth chart is a living breathing thing. Some guys can play multiple positions like a Murray or Umberger. Come camp a guy like Voracek or Filatov could certainly leap frog some folks and either make the team or player higher in the lineup than what was projected. On the flip side guys could also fall like a Peca, Malhotra, Novotny, etc.

Discuss - how do you feel about the Jackets' organizational depth compared to year's past?


-LTL

8 comments:

Kennedy said...

I didnt see mention of this posting from ESPN.com in the blog, so I thought I would share it. I disagree with Proteau's assessment of the Commodore signing, but Hainsey's deal with Atlanta is a different matter.
http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?page=screenshots080723

Anonymous said...

Proteau is a classic case of what I was referring to in a previous post. A guy who merely looks at the player and the contract and makes and assessment. He clearly paid no regard to what our needs were, where he will fit in the locker room in terms of leadership and character, and the style of play the jackets are trying to achieve.

Another thing, how Jeff Finger isn't on that list is beyond me. It was Finger's contract that inflated all the other d man's deals including Mike Commodore.

markislander said...

Any of you herd anything about Knuble comming here for Hejda dont think we would do that.

Skraut said...

Great Breakdown, but do you think Filatov should be at wing, or at Center. He seems to want to play Center. Can't wait to get that kid over here.

Todd G said...

By far the best depth the CBJ has ever iced. Guaranteed playoff spot...no...but man they sure will "compete" for one. Let's drop the puck already!!!

LTL said...

Skraut - I think ultimately Filatov will end up as a center but if he makes the team next year I think it will be as a wing.

I just can't see Hitch leaning on him as a center right off the get-go.

-LTL

Max said...

LTL, you remind me of a colloege exam. A nice, long post with the word "Discuss" at the end. Normally this makes me uneasy. But definately not with hockey...

Depth? Depth?! We've finally got some. Our defense looks to be the best it's ever been. I sure hope Filatov can come over and play center. Guys have to compete this year to make the team. That's the most exciting part about this.

DRU said...

No matter how you look at it there is plenty of depth. I've been thinking up lines and no matter how I switch them around, there is almost always size and scoring ability on all four lines. When you factor in guys like Filatov and York we have the potential to be a very good team.

Honestly, there are still a lot of question marks but every season so far has had those. The loafers are gone and the team is more competitive than ever.