With the number 3 overall pick in the (mock) draft, the Columbus Blue Jackets have taken Finnish right wing Jesse Puljuarvi, a goal scorer who can immediately boost the offensive prospects of the Union Blue.
For a link to his draft prospect profile on the Jackets Cannon, please click here.
With Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine off the board, the Cannon elected to stand pat and take the player who can be a potential cornerstone for the Blue Jackets for the next 15 years. Puljujarvi, dubbed "The New Finnish Flash" for his comparisons to fellow Finn Teemu Selanne, posted 13-15-28 in the Finnish Liiga this past season, along with 4-5-9 in the playoffs. His coming out party, however, was for the U20 Finnish National Team, where he posted 5-12-17 in leading them to the World Junior Championship (where he added trophies for Best Forward and Most Valuable Player to his mantle).
Despite some discussion in local media that Matthew Tkachuk deserves consideration from Columbus, there was no such discussion from the staff at the Cannon. Puljujarvi was clearly the best prospect available, and we wasted no time adding him to the Blue Jackets. With so many holes to fill on the team, it only made sense to take the best player available.
For some background on Puljujarvi, let's see what Goran Stubb, NHL Director of European Skating has to say:
"He's a powerful skater with good speed and balance. He has outstanding hockey sense and reads the play well. He's a good playmaker with strong puck-handling skills. He can take advantage of 1-on-1 situations with his long reach."
He's a big skater (listed at 6'3", 206) with room to grow. And with highlights like these, he would make a wonderful addition to the Blue Jackets.