directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Whose gonna make it

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Whose gonna make it

A few months ago I did a post on "Whose on the block" which was a look by percentage at who was likely to be on the move versus who was likely to stay this offseason.

Now I'd like to (at a reader's request) take a look by percentage at some of the more prominent names in the Jackets' prospect pool and see who is likely to see regular season time on the Jackets next season versus who isn't.

100% - Derick Brassard - Slam dunk here with the Jackets being unable to land another top 6 center thus far. Regardless of if they brought one in or not I think it was going to be really hard to keep this playmaker off the roster. He's a lock.

99% - Jakub Voracek - His percentage may be lower if he was old enough to play in the AHL but unfortunately he's not so its either the NHL or back to Major Junior for this blue chipper. I think he'll start lower in the lineup but unless he plays himself right off the team in camp he'll be a Blue Jacket next season.

98% - Aaron Rome - The Jackets wouldn't put this guy on waivers at the end of the season because they were afraid he would get claimed -- that should tell you all you need to know about Rome's chances of playing with the big boys this coming season. I don't know if he'll flat out make the team but unless he's dealt he'll see plenty of time in union blue.

95% - Steve Mason - He's turned pro and will be counted on in Syracuse to be their go to guy with Dan LaCosta backing him up. Mason won't get a lot of starts in Columbus but with Pascal's injury history and Norrena's inconsistent play expect Mason to get some cups of coffee next year.

94% - Derek Dorsett - I just think this kid is ready and has the kind of sandpaper in his game the Jackets can certainly utilize at the bottom of their lineup. Heck I think he's got a good chance of making the team in camp but should he not he'll get some looks next year.

90% - Tom Sestito - This kid is big and strong and willing to drop the gloves. He got a taste late last season against St. Louis and against certain opponents the Jackets will want his size and toughness in the lineup. I don't see him playing a lot for the Jackets but think he's pretty close to a sure thing in terms of getting a call up or two.

89% - Nikita Filatov - Oh the wild card. I've never seen him play so this projection is strictly off hype. If he's got near the offensive skill and defensive awareness we've heard about how does he not see time with the big team? A team that is desperate for offensive flair. It will all ride on whether or not he plays in the AHL versus the CHL. I don't think the Jackets can afford not to have him available. It will come down to camp for this kid. Unless he greatly disappointments he'll split time between the AHL/NHL.

82% - Jonathan Sigalet - Defensemen acquired in the trade for Matt Marquardt. Being an offensive defensemen Sigalet will probably see some time at some point next season on the big squad. If Russell and Backman struggle or get hurt the Jackets could turn to Sigalet to QB the PP in their stead.

81% - Clay Wilson - We didn't quite add the offensive flair on the backend that I had hoped which leaves Wilson in a better position to get a call up on the Jackets. Wilson is really in the same boat at Sigalet but I put him below him on the call up list due to size and defense although I think Wilson may be better offensively.

80% - Marc Methot - I think he's in danger a bit of getting passed over by more than just Rome on the depth chart. Still he's had plenty of time to develop and has shown he's capable at the next level. Injuries will mount and at the very least Methot should see a few games. I look for him to have a big camp.

77% - Alexander Picard - Pretty much a bust as far as justifying being selected #8 overall in the 2004 draft but I still think the organization likes him in terms of finding his niche as an energy/agitator guy on the 3rd or 4th line. He just doesn't seem to have the hands to be a scorer at the highest level. Unless traded I fully expect to see him get some call up time.

75% - Adam Pineault - This is a big year for Pineault. The kid seems to have all the tools to be an NHL player but where does he fit? He finally got a one game call up last year and if he keeps maturing he should also find himself with a couple of looks this coming season. He's more of a trigger man but plays a solid north/south style with decent wheels and fantastic shot. Pineault needs a big year.

54% - Maxim Mayorov - Turned plenty of heads in camp but can use a lot more polish which if he stays in North America he should get with Syracuse. He's a bit of a reach to reach the NHL this year but I think its a pretty safe bet he'll get the nod for at least a game or two at some point during the year - if he stays in North America.

51% - Andrei Plekhanov - Kid has a lot of pro talent including that NHL caliber shot. He really impressed last season to earn a 2-year 2-way deal. Can he keep it going? Does he have enough upstairs to keep up with the pace of the NHL game? Tough call on this kid - I give him a slightly better than 50% chance that he'll see some regular season NHL duty this year.

51% - Nick Holden - Loved this kid at prospect camp. NHL size, good attitude and has had a lot of time to develop in the Major Junior. A defensemen with some offensive upside he could make a push this year which may earn him a call up. The safe bet though is that he'll get loads of ice time in Syracuse and good time to development to make a hard push for the big team the following season. He will be an interesting player to watch in Syracuse this season. I just have a good feeling about him.

50% - Dan LaCosta - You know in this crazy game there is bound to be a scenario where LaCosta will at least see a game as a backup.

37% - Grant Clitsome - Another guy I absolutely loved at camp. Clitsome is similar to Holden in that he's had a lot of time to develop his game but unlike Nick he did so in NCAA D1 hockey. He's looks very polished and poised with the puck. I don't really see him getting a shot at the big team next year but if he can adjust to the AHL game quickly I wouldn't say its completely out of the question.

29% - Stephan Legein - This kid has a lot of mental maturing to do before Howson/Hitch give him a shot at the big time. The kid's got the skill but now he needs to learn how to be a pro. They'll let him figure that out in Syracuse -- be it the easy way or the hard way -- its up to him. I see him pretty far down the depth chart with guys like Filatov, Doresett, Sestito, Mayorov, Pinneault & Picard ahead of him.

20% - Kosmachev - Still no word on what the 2003 3rd round pick plans are. He came to North America for the first time ever for the prospect camp and showed well. I'm sure the organization would like to put the big Russian in Syracuse to see what he's got but that will all depend on Kosmachev and if he's willing to stay in NA for the year. If he does stick I doubt he gets a call up this season but I wouldn't close the door completely - the guy does have NHL size and has been baking for a while.

0% - Nick Sucharski & Jake Hansen - A couple 0f NCAA forwards who still have plenty of maturing to do in their games. Like the NCAA d-men they'll spend another year of development at college. This will be Sucharski's senior year so he'll most likely sign an entry level deal and may see some time at Syracuse or Elmira later this year.

0% - Ted Ruth, Cody Goloubef & Will Weber - These three very good defensive prospects (all 2nd round picks) will spend their entire years developing their games at their NCAA schools.

0% - Allen York - Had a real good camp (sans the scrimmage) and will be off to college himself for a few years of development. This kid is a project and should spend at minimum 3 years at the collegiate level.

I've left some names off the list including a lot of this year's later round picks but there you have the more higher profile guys. Even though we are certainly a much deeper team this year its a long season and injuries are bound to mount up. You've also got trades to consider. For those reasons and more I see quite a few of these names having better than average shots to see some time on the big club.

The only guys I see making the team out of camp are Brassard and Voracek. I see both Dorsett and Sestito with outside chances but will get plenty of time due to the sandpaper they have in their games.

Filatov of course is a wild card we'll all be keeping a close eye on.

The good news is that we have some quality talent below that top tier group of guys who have had some good development time and should be able to step in and fill a role without significantly hurting the team.

We also can't forget about the veteran call ups like MacDonald, MacKenzie and Kelly. Vigilate is another guy on that list. I see them hurting the chances of guys like Pineault, Legein and Picard instead of highly skilled guys like Filatov or willing combatants like Dorsett or Sestito.

Discuss - thoughts on the rankings? Am I over-estimating some guys while under-estimating others?



RG said...

Jackets start three on the road beginning at Dallas on Friday October 10th.

LTL said...

Thanks for the info RG!


Colin said...

i think that you may be overestimating filatov. i do believe that we will get him over here fine. however, i just think hes to small and hasn't adapted to the north american style of the game. skills not the question with this kid but i think he will play juniors and focus on putting muscle on to get ready for 09-10. but hey you can always hope you never know.

Anonymous said...

I think Rome and Clitsome are going to get very long looks. Jackets are going to carry 8 dmen apparently so there will be room for Tolly, Rome and Clitsome in the mix.

You have to believe that Voracek will show us more than Novotny did, eh? Although Novotny was very good at the World Championships and admitted he 'wasn't ready to play so many minutes (this season with jackets)' and that he will be more prepared this year (read: in better shape), I still think Voracek can be as good, or better than him from nearly the get go.

I don't anticipate Filitov being a blue jacket, but you never know. I didn't really see Kane coming in and being able to hack it last year either, and although I he seemed to fade down the stretch, he had a more than respectable rookie season.

Either way, I can't wait for camp to start!!

LTL said...

Good info per usual. Clitsome is certainly a guy to keep our eyes on.

I'm really starting to wonder where exactly Methot fits in - any insight?