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2015 NHL Draft: Blue Jackets War Room

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Your complete primer for the 2015 NHL Draft

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Particulars

The 2015 NHL Entry Draft will take place June 26-27, 2015 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. The first round selections will be made on Friday the 26th starting at 7:00pm ET, while rounds two through seven will go on Saturday the 27th, starting at 10:00am ET.

Where to watch

NBCSN is broadcasting in the US, using the TSN crew. 

Sportsnet will be covering the draft in Canada.

There's also the CBJ Draft Party, which sounds like a blast.

CBJ Draft Picks

The Jackets go into the draft owning ten selections:

1) Round 1 (8th Overall)
2) Round 2 (34th Overall) (from Toronto via LA in the Gaborik trade)
3) Round 2 (38th Overall) 
4) Round 2 (58th Overall) (from Anaheim in the Wisniewski trade)
5) Round 3 (68th Overall) (from Philadelphia in the Mason trade)
6) Round 3 (69th Overall) 
7) Round 5 (129th Overall)
8) Round 5 (141st Overall) (from Minnesota in the Leopold trade)
9) Round 6 (159th Overall)
10) Round 7 (189th Overall)

* the Jackets' fourth round pick was traded to Philadelphia in the Scott Hartnell deal.

Mock Drafts

Mike MacLean's final mock draft HERE

SBNation Hockey mock draft HERE

Mock Draft Database HERE

Rankings and Prospect Profiles

NHL Central Scouting HERE

TSN Final HERE

The Cannon draft prospect profiles HERE

The men behind the picks

The Jackets hockey ops team is of course led by President of Hockey Operations John Davidson; General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen and Assistant GM Bill Zito. Ville Siren is the Head Amateur Scout, while Paul Castron is the Director of Amateur Scouting. The amateur scouting staff is comprised of Mike Antonovich, Josef Boumedienne, Greg Drechsel, Niklas Evertsson, Derek Ginnell, John Hill, Stephane Leblanc, Chris Morehouse, Rob Riley, Andy Schneider and Milan Tichy.

The CBJ Pipeline Depth Chart (players 21 and under in the organization)

Sonny Milano - Boone Jenner - Marko Dano
Kerby Rychel - Alexander Wennberg - Oliver Bjorkstrand
Daniel Zaar - Peter Quenneville - Josh Anderson
Markus Soberg - Julien Pelletier - Nick Moutrey
Tyler Bird

Ryan Murray - Mike Reilly (I know...)
Dillon Heatherington - Ryan Collins
Blake Siebenaler - Olivier Leblanc
Dean Kukan

Joonas Korpisalo
Oscar Dansk
Elvis Merzlikins

Draft Targets

Here is a hypothetical 2015 CBJ Draft Class, assuming no trades. (Three options per selection)

1st Round, 8th Overall - Ivan Provorov, Zach Werenski, Mikko Rantanen
The organizational depth on defense is weak. BPA, sure. But pick the best defenseman available. Short of that, Mikko Rantanen is an exciting Finnish power forward who would look oh-so-good beside Ryan Johansen.

2nd Round, 34th Overall - MacKenzie Blackwood, Jonas Siegenthaler, Jack Roslovic
The second round is my personal favorite. It's an opportunity to stock up on player who should have been taken in the first round. In Blackwood, the Jackets would get a potential starting goalie to develop. Siegenthaler is a smooth defenseman, who fills an organizational need. Roslovic is not only a great story as an Ohio boy, he's a very good offensive forward.

2nd Round, 38th Overall - Anthony Beauvillier, Vince Dunn, Jacob Larsson
Beauvillier would give the CBJ a high-octane offensive forward, Dunn is an offensive defenseman who would be a perfect compliment to defense-first CBJ prospects Heatherington and Collins, while Larsson is a two-way defender who may be a first rounder.

2nd Round, 58th Overall - Austin Wagner, Rasmus Andersson, Mitch Vande Sompel
Wagner is a two-way forward who could be a fixture on a checking line, but he has enough offensive ability to contribute higher in the lineup. Andersson is a right-handed blueliner who can put up points. Vande Sompel is an offensive defenseman who occasionally plays forward.

3rd Round, 68th Overall - Nicolas Roy, Parker Wotherspoon, Nikita Korostelev
Roy is a former number one overall pick in the QMJHL draft, and is a big-bodied pivot with a nose for the net. Wotherspoon is a two-way defenseman who's taken huge strides offensively, while Korostelev is a Russian-born player who's been in Canada for many years now, but plays the classic Russian-sniper style.

3rd Round, 69th Overall - Michael Spacek, Loik Leveille, Filip Ahl
All three of these players may go before the 69th pick, but all three are candidates to slip. Nonetheless, Spacek is a smallish offensive threat, Leveille is a jack-of-all-trades defender and Ahl is a huge winger with untapped offensive potential. The Jackets would be lucky to get any of three at 69.

5th Round, 129th Overall - Conor Garland, Robin Kovacs, Sebastian Aho
Garland is interesting. He's only 5'7", but led the QMJHL in scoring and was named league MVP. His size will mean he will slip, and the Jackets would be wise to snag him if he's there in the fifth round. Kovacs is a shithead on skates - think Derek Dorsett with offensive ability. There are actually two Aho's ranked for this draft - either will do at 129th.

5th Round, 144th Overall - Sam Montembault, Adin Hill, Michael McNiven
Yes, all three of these guys are goalies. If any of these three is actually around with this pick, jump on it. Otherwise, take best goalie available.

6th Round, 159th Overall - Troy Murray, Pius Suter, Sergei Zborovsky
Murray isn't flashy, but he'll add defensive depth. Suter is a Swiss sniper who is also responsible defensively. Zborovsky has great size and is already playing in North America with the Regina Pats.

7th Round, 189th Overall - John Marino, David Henley, Vladimir Tkachev
Marino is a Harvard commit, who brings great skating from the back end, Henley is a big-bodied defender who plays a physical brand of hockey, while Tkachev was passed over in last year's draft but has some of the best hands in Canadian junior.

Potential deals

Aside from the picks themselves, the draft is a prime time for teams to make trades. The Jackets seem like a team that will be busy. Here are some potential scenarios:

Trade up from 8th
The Jackets have multiple second round picks, and are flush with prospects that teams drafting ahead of them would be interested in. If the scouting staff loves a player but are worried that he won't make it to 8th, they could put a package together to move up. Now, this kind of move would be based on how the draft is unfolding. Perhaps a team goes off the board ahead of the Jackets, meaning they have a better chance of getting their guy. In that instance they are likely to stand pat. For the record, I'm in favor of staying at 8. We do know however that the Coyotes are receiving offers for the third selection, and New Jersey may be a candidate to trade down.

Trade down from 8th
On the other hand, if the players the Jackets have at the top of their board happen to go 1-7, and they aren't particularly thrilled with who's available at 8, they could add an asset and trade back in the first round. I find this very unlikely, but it could happen.

Package second round picks to get a late first rounder
If there's a player sitting there late in the first round that the CBJ are smitten over, they could package two or more of their later picks to move back into the first round. This is a move that I could get behind.

Will we see an Artem Anisimov deal?
Arty's name has been in trade chatter recently. Will the draft be the time when he is included in a package to perhaps acquire a blueliner? If the team truly believes that Alexander Wennberg is ready to hold down a center position, Arty is expendable. It hurts me to type that, as I think he's a valuable two-way guy who is a bit of a fan favorite. That said, he's got serious value to a team wanting a 2-3C. I think if he is dealt, it will be as part of a package for a roster player coming back.

How about a Cam Atkinson trade?
Though he just re-signed with the team, his name is still out there as a trade candidate. This is mainly due to the handful of wingers who are knocking on the door, looking for a spot on a scoring line. Put me in the group that doesn't want to see Cam moved until his job is legitimately taken by one of the aforementioned kids. He's got 30 goals in him.

Will the team trade a prospect, pick, or a package of both to bring in a defenseman?
We've all read the Kerby Rychel rumors. Will the CBJ package him with perhaps a pick and/or a roster player to bring in a defenseman? There were links to Montreal, but unless it's Nathan Beaulieu I don't want to even think about it. I've previously thrown the idea of trading for Brayden Coburn or Dan Hamhuis out there, but there's got to be a younger, cheaper option. There was some talk of the Jackets being interested in Dougie Hamilton - now that's a deal I'd love to see made.

Bonus - Will we find out where Mike Reilly is going to sign?
Though he can't do it until July 1st (unless it's with the CBJ), there's a chance that by draft weekend we'll know where Mike Reilly intends to sign.