Taking a break from all the pre-draft shenanigans, I want get everything thinking about some other prospects - ones already in the organization. Remember that span when I posted poll after poll after poll after poll AFTER POLL...Good news! It wasn't just to pass 5 seconds of your life. We at the Cannon want to know what you think! We whittled down the list of Columbus' Top Ten ranked prospects to four. They are: John Moore, Nikita Filatov, David Savard, and Matt Calvert.
Now that we've made it this far, we're going to go more in depth on these guys before we declare one the top prospect of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Each of the aforementioned players can bring something special to the organization.
Whether it be John Moore and his grit and scoring from the blue line (he had 47 points in 61 games for Kitchener this year!). Filatov, and his finesse and scoring touch. Savard and HIS offensive ability from the blue line (77 points in 64 games). Then, of course, there is Matt Calvert with his speed, leadership and hockey sense. All of these guys will be the future of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and you can count on that.
Now with so many things to consider, who is the top prospect in the organization? After the jump we'll let you decide...
John Moore - Defenseman - 1st round #21 overall pick, 2009 NHL entry draft
John Moore will put up one hell of a fight into making the team out of camp. If he can build on last year's camp, I wouldn't be surprised one bit to see him in the Union Blue to start the season. The offensive prowess he carries with him is already impressive, and he's going to get better - much better. As we all know, thats something we desperately need on the blue line. He's fast and can handle the puck well.
Moore will hopefully bring peace and prosperity to our PP which is in dire need of a play maker. Which ever defensemen join the team - through the draft or free agency - coupled with our current guys, will have to fight with John Moore for a top 7 spot.
According to HockeysFuture.com, Moore's potential is becoming a 3-4 defenseman, but I think his ceiling is higher. Is John Moore the CBJ's top prospect?
Nikita Filatov - Left Wing - 1st round #6 overall pick, 2008 NHL entry draft
Nikita, Nikita, Nikita...what can we say that hasn't already been said? Offensively he's as talented as some of the top guys in the league. His bread and butter is advancing the puck and creating chances for himself and linemates. In 21 short games with the Jackets he's posted 6-0-6. Four of those goals came his rookie (ish) year (eight games) and three of them were January 10 against Minnesota making him the first rookie in CBJ history to collect a hat trick in a game. HockeysFuture sees Filatov as a top line player and potential All Star.
Constant misuse last year lead to his transfer to the KHL where he spent the remainder of the year with CSKA Moscow. We all know Hitch thought of him as a defensive liability, which explains the healthy scratch after healthy scratch before his transfer. Whatever Tyler Wright has to say to him, I hope it works. We as fans, should be excited having a winger who can score almost everytime he touches the puck. Filatov has said he will be at camp this summer, but only time will tell. Maybe in Coach Arniel's refreshing up-tempo, attacking style, Nikita will have his place in the line up and consistently see ice time. Is Nikita Filatov the CBJ's top prospect?
David Savard - Defenseman - 4th round #94 overall pick, 2009 NHL entry draft
Here's another offensive defenseman that can light up the scoreboard. This season, with the Moncton Wildcats, Savard lead the team in points, assists, and was 9th in goals. He's a big guy, so he won't back down from the opposition. His hockey sense isn't all there just yet - still rough around the edges. Unlikely to make the team out of camp, Savard will see plenty of time in Springfield.
Down the road I think Savard will be a valuable asset to the organization. The thought of him paired with a John Moore or Kris Russell could be a match made in blue line heaven. However, thats a match we probably won't see for at least another year.
His potential could lead him as high as a 3-4 defenseman. Is David Savard the CBJ's top prospect?
Matt Calvert - Left Wing - 5th round #127 overall pick, 2008 NHL entry draft
As I said early on, these guys will be the future of the team. Matt Calvert is a special talent. He would've been in Syracuse this past season had he chose to go pro - there's no doubt in my mind. His decision to return to play with the Wheat Kings was based on the Memorial Cup being held in his hometown. Some may think thats him being selfish but in reality its a testament to his desire for the game. Calvert is uber competitive and he plays to win.
For Brandon, Matt Calvert provided a glut of scoring (99 pts in 68 games) which helped propel them to the playoffs. He played on what was being called the best line in the WHL, along with Scott Glennie and Brayden Schenn. He's small for a winger but makes up for it in effort. At 5'9 164, he has some growing to do. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in talent and leadership. Matt is heralded as a leader on the Wheat Kings and can bring that experience to the Jackets organization.
In the end, he'll likely spend a couple seasons in Springfield and will maybe see very very minor time in Columbus, barring some sort of injury or other circumstance. One day, he will be a force on our team and will be yet another star in the Blue Jackets youth movement. HockeysFuture thinks Calvert can be a 2nd line winger at best, only time will tell. Is Matt Calvert the CBJ's top prospect?