That was an interesting first day of the draft. As expected the Jackets made a trade. And as expected they moved Josh Anderson. Anderson leaving brings up a ton of questions for me. In less than a season he went from the future of scoring in the Union Blue to out of town. In 2019 he was going to be the next 30-goal scorer in Columbus, young, big, strong, fast, still under a club-favorable contract...sky was the limit.
It will be interesting to hear if he speaks about his time in Columbus and what soured that relationship. This brings up memories of the situation with Ryan Johansen. All-Star MVP, top line center with the potential to be the face-of-the-franchise then shipped out to Nashville. What happens behind closed doors will never be fully understood by the public and fans. But rather than focus on what happened with Josh, lets wish him well and look at what is coming to Columbus.
Rather than drafting a C, Jarmo used his assets to acquire an NHL ready one. Max Domi is 25-years-old, 5'10" and 193 lbs. He has skated in 375 games, scoring 81 goals and assisting 170 others (251 points). In 71 appearances this season he has 44 points (17g, 27a)*. He was in ARI from 2015-2018, but blossomed the last two seasons in MTL with 28 and 17 goals respectively. During the playoffs his minutes were cut without much explanation. With 300 career penalty minutes he will have to learn to play in a more discipline system under Torts. He should fill the hole that has existed forever at the 2C position on this team. This should take pressure off PLD and allow him to be more creative in carrying play like he did in the playoffs. Domi is talked about as a 'Blue Jackets style' player, but Torts can rub guys the wrong way. Hopefully they don't have any issues and Domi buys in to the system.
On pure talent, I believe that MTL got the bigger up-side. That is yet to be seen as both of these guys have a lot of hockey left to play in their careers. Domi is the better fit for this Columbus team. This trade looks like a win for both franchises. Anderson will get a change of scenery that I believe he truly needs and the freedom to skate and score. If he puts up 30+ goals next season it would not surprise me. He may not have had the opportunity to do that here in Columbus.
With the #21 pick in the 2020 NHL draft the CBJ select...who?
No one was ready for that selection. Here is a brief highlight package:
I believe JK when he says that his scouts had this guy rated highly. He finds guys in Europe that others don't look at, or that others rate much lower. I also believe that because he got his 2C via trade that he could reach with his draft pick, re-stocking the prospect pool rather than trying to find an NHL ready player. Jarmo is saying the things he needs to in order to defend the selection. But why use the #21 pick? Why not trade down? WAS and NYR wanted to move up as they traded to get to #19 and #22 respectively. And I think that Chinakhov would have still been there at #24, judging by reactions. It seems that they could have even picked him up in the 2nd round if they wanted (and had chosen to move that far back in the draft).
In reviewing many mock drafts I could not find Yegor drafted in the first round of any of them. I even found one that had him in the 6th round. He was draft eligible last season and not selected. My point is stating these things is that he could have been available without spending the 1st round pick on him. Is that mis-management of this draft pick? Was there another team waiting for him in the second round? We may never know...
The question at hand is: Did Columbus become a better team yesterday? Magic 8 Ball says: All signs point to YES. And I agree. Domi may not score 30 goals, but he may open up the opportunity for others to do just that.
Good Luck and GO JACKETS!
*apologies for the incorrect quoting of stats in the original post, I was reading the wrong stat line, now corrected, thank you for point out the error.