I received an email from a reader earlier disagreeing with our pick of David Rundblad in the SB Nation NHL Mock Draft.
The reader (whose name I'll withhold unless he wishes to be named) suggested the Blue Jackets would probably go with college-bound John Moore or another Swedish prospect in Jacob Josefson, both solid choices. Our pick in the mock draft came down to Rundblad and Moore, and I went with Rundblad - here's some of the reasons why:
Rundblad already has some experience playing with grown men at just 18 years old. Moore has yet to enter college.
Articles like this.
Like (Mike) Green, Rundblad is a good skater who thinks offense first and always is trying to key the rush -- be it with a laser-like outlet pass or, just as often, a hell-bent-for-leather rush up ice with the puck glued to his blade.
"I try to play offense," Rundblad said. "I like to stickhandle and keep the puck; but I think I have defense in the (defensive) zone, too. But it is my offense that is No. 1."
- Rundblad seems a bit more proven to me at his young age, whereas Moore is on the slow but steady pace of a college prospect.
- We need help as soon as possible on the back-end. Rundblad is under contract for 2 more years and then could be signed and playing in the Columbus organization soon.
- Rundblad's a right handed shot. The Jackets have too many lefties, which is part of what's hurting the power play.
All that said, the Jackets certainly could be interested in John Moore. Scott Howson has shown strong interest in college blueliners such as current Jackets prospects Cody Goloubef, Will Weber, and Teddy Ruth.
Or, they could be interested in a center or physical forward, as Mike pointed out a few weeks ago. Someone like Zack Kassian or Josefson would certainly fill a role in Columbus.
But in the end, with talent like Ryan Ellis, David Rundblad, Dmitry Kulikov, John Moore, and even Simon Despres, I don't see the Jackets passing up a solid defensive prospect with puck-moving skills (and some with the ability to quarterback a power play). It would be the first time the Jackets have selected a defenseman in the first round since Rusty Klesla in 2000.
Agree, disagree? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please share them in the comments.
It's almost time for the draft!