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What will the 2021-22 Blue Jackets look like?

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A peek in the crystal ball

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

After completing the off-season rundown of the top players under 25 in the Columbus Blue Jackets system, I started thinking about what the team might look like in the future. This is a team with a young core, so who will still be around in 3 years?

Note: I gathered information from the indispensable Cap Friendly and Elite Prospects. Of course this list does not include potential trades, free agent signings, or future draft picks.

Already under contract through 2021-22

These players have an NHL contract on the books for that season, or have an Entry Level Contract that will slide if they do not play 10 games or more in the NHL this season. After their name is their age in that season and their cap hit.

Forwards:

Cam Atkinson (32, $5,875,000)
Alexander Wennberg (27, $4,900,000)
Boone Jenner (28, $3,750,000)
Liam Foudy (21, $925,000)(Entry Level Slide)
Alexandre Texier (22, $897,500)(Entry Level Slide)

Defensemen:

Seth Jones (27, $5,400,000)
Markus Nutivaara (27, $2,700,000)

As you can see, there’s actually a lot of long term roster flexibility here. The long term contracts are all on productive players, and of them only Atkinson will be over 30 in this target season.

Restricted Free Agency

These players are on contracts that will expire prior to 2021-22, but will still be under team control. That means they are either under 27 years old or have fewer than 7 years of professional experience.

Forwards:

Oliver BJORKSTRAND (26)
Pierre-Luc Dubois (23)
Sonny Milano (25)
Eric Robinson (26)
Sam Vigneault (26)
Kevin Stenlund (25)
Ryan MacInnis (25)
Jonathan Davidsson (24)
Maxime Fortier (23)
Justin Scott (26)
Paul Bittner (24)
Vitaly Abramov (23)
Calvin Thurkauf (24)
Kole Sherwood (24)

Defensemen:

Zach Werenski (24)
Gabriel Carlsson (24)
Ryan Collins (25)
Blake Siebenaler (25)

Goalies:

Matiss Kivlenieks (25)

Unsigned Draft Picks

These players are under team control but have not yet signed entry level contracts.

Forwards:

Emil Bemstrom (22)
Marcus Karlberg (21)
Trey Fix-Wolansky (22)
Kale Howarth (24)
Kirill Marchenko (21)
Carson Meyer (24)

Defensemen:

Tim Berni (21)
Vladislav Gavrikov (26)
Andrew Peeke (23)
Robbie Stucker (23)

Goalies:

Veini Vehvilainen (24)
Elvis Merzlikins (26)
Daniil Tarasov (22)
Peter Thome (24)

Hypothetical Lineup

Again, not including any potential extensions of UFAs, or trades, or draft picks. Go ahead and post your own lineups in the comments. How do you feel about the future?

Abramov/Dubois/Atkinson
Marchenko/Wennberg/BJORKSTRAND
Karlberg/Texier/Davidsson
Thurkauf/Stenlund/Fortier

Werenski/Jones
Nutivaara/Gavrikov
Carlsson/Peeke

Merzlikins
Tarasov