The Columbus Resurgence

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The Columbus Blue Jackets were a team in flux due to John Tortorella leaving in May 2021 afterwards Assistant Coach Brad Larsen was hired and many Blue Jackets fans have been skeptical of this move, rightfully so. However, there have been more pieces at play in the current resurgence of the Blue Jackets after Tortorella’s 5 years here.

You can always count on the faithful here in Columbus to believe in this franchise, and the 2020 and 2021 Draft has immensely rewarded us for our loyalty to the franchise.

Trust in Jarmo

In the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, they had a successful first round, however, most people doubted Jarmo’s pick and even asked “Who is this guy?”

Yegor Chinakhov

He reads the game well and can anticipate the opposition’s moves, allowing him to use his stick for maximum disruption, McKeen’s Hockey 2019

Yegor’s combined stats for goals in 2020-2021 was a respectable 13, with 8 assists in 40 games. Which is at most a .5 points per game pace. However, the big question is how will he adjust to the NHL? With many KHL rinks moving to a standard rink size that matches NHL standards, he should find his pace here in the NHL soon.

Yegor has been under the leadership of the former NHL coach, Bob Hartley with the Avangard Omsk. To give you an idea, Hartley is responsible for the Colorado Avalanche’s Stanley Cup in 2001. Many people discount the KHL, but its product regularly gets ice time and produces, from Ovechkin to Radulov, who isn’t the same player as when he started but has since become a role player with the Stars. It is easily debatable that the KHL is just as good of a development league as the NHL.

In his time with the Blue Jackets, he helped dominate Traverse City with Sillinger, Malatesta, and others in his draft class. In his regular playing time, he has 4 points, with 1 goal and 3 assists. Yegor is an up and comer in the system and is directly responsible for the current resurgence in Columbus’ overall offensive output.

Chinakov’s offensive impact his impressive. He moves the puck quickly, supports the play well, and seems very aware of his options. His puck skills are high-end; he makes body fakes and quick cuts to force defenders to move their feet and open space. He consistently read opposing breakouts to intercept pucks. -EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide

Developing Through The Draft

Since Columbus’ has been derided by many fans in the league as a city that lacks the prime real estate that Artemi Panarin has left for in New York, Jarmo has to work through different means to develop talent. It is only pure coincidence that the next draft pick was born in Columbus and whose father was a CBJ vet.

Which pokes holes in the idea that Columbus has nothing to offer hockey players, as many have come back to help the team develop talent further, including the former face of the franchise Rick Nash.

Cole Sillinger

His wrist shot release is especially potent, with a short draw, feet pointed at the net, adequate knee-bend, a hip-snap, his leg kicked back, and exploding from his chest. It’s a sight to behold. Sillinger makes the best of this shot with some stellar off of the puck instincts, an often overpowering wall game, and a penchant for driving the centre lane of the offensive zone. -EliteProspects 2021 NHL Draft Guide

Mike Sillinger is infamous for being the most traded player in NHL history, despite his time in Columbus being a success with two 43 point seasons. Mike relocated to Columbus in free agency and spent two years here, where Cole would end up being born during Mike’s time here.

Much like his father, Cole is a Center, except he’s a lefty and with his last year in the juniors in the USHL with the Sioux Falls Stampede, he netted 46 points for his 2020-2021 campaign. Picked up 12th in the 1st round, in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, you can see why essentially the Columbus Blue Jackets again, are developing through the draft, and with this attitude, you can keep a successful and stable core to develop.

Cole Sillinger is a great pick for a team that is looking to add goal-scoring, decent size and grit to their lineup, and that has experience with skating development. If the Toronto Maple Leafs get their hands on this young man, the world should watch out – they have worked miracles with their prospects’ skating in the past, and surely have the tools and resources to turn him into a star center. He can play the wing just as well, if the center position turns out to be too much for him. If he does not rectify his skating, however, his positioning will need to come a long way for him to have any impact at the NHL level. His potential alone should see him go in the top 15 in this draft, likely to a team that desperately needs goals like the Devils or the Blue Jackets. If he drops outside that rank, it will be because teams do not see him improving his skating in the next few years, which is just as possible. -Hadi Kalakeche

“Trust in Jarmo”

With the last two Entry Drafts being a success and reading through CBJ Twitter every day to see our picks contributing to the KHL, CHL, and USHL, it’s hard to discount the legacy Jarmo will leave once his tenure here ends. He absolutely left the St. Louis Blues in a better spot and they weren’t contenders overnight, but with the right coach and the right pieces, you can become a contender. Larsen was the first big step towards something more and I look forward to seeing what the new faces of the franchise will do as Blue Jackets.

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