After a summer hiatus, Cannon Blasts is back! Believe it or not, as of tomorrow we will be just a month away from the first game of the regular season. The Columbus Blue Jackets are holding a development camp this week prior to the Traverse City prospects tournament, which makes the unofficial start of the pre-season.
Speaking of prospects, let’s start by discussing our latest prospect ranking:
Analyzing the Top 25 Under 25
Over the last five weeks, we counted down the Top 25 Blue Jackets players and prospects under the age of 25, as voted on by the writers and you, the readers. All of the posts can be found here, and here is the full ranking:
- Zach Werenski
2. Patrik Laine
3. Jack Roslovic
4. Adam Boqvist
5. Kent Johnson
6. Alexandre Texier
7. Jake Bean
8. Daniil Tarasov
9. Cole Sillinger
10. Kirill Marchenko
11. Emil Bemstrom
12. Yegor Chinakhov
13. Liam Foudy
14. Andrew Peeke
15. Corson Ceulemans
16. Dmitri Voronkov
17. Tyler Angle
18. Trey Fix-Wolansky
19. Josh Dunne
20. Gabriel Carlsson
21. Carson Meyer
22. Stanislav Svozil
23. Samuel Knazko
24. Calvin Thurkauf
25. Guillaume Richard
- It should come as no surprise that Zach Werenski topped the list. He was neck-and-neck with Pierre-Luc Dubois for the top spot two years ago, and did nothing to lose his spot. Certainly his long-term extension helped. It wasn’t a close vote, either: Werenski got 84 first place votes while Patrik Laine had just 17. Kent Johnson was the only other player to receive a first place vote.
- Johnson was the highest ranked player on the list without NHL experience. I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that he was the highest-drafted player of all of the prospects (and drafted higher than anyone on the list except Laine, a former #2 overall pick).
- Out of these 25 players, 12 were not in the Blue Jackets system two years ago. That’s quite a turnover. Credit to Jarmo and his staff for using trades and the draft to refresh a depleted pipeline.
- The biggest risers in the rankings were Dmitri Voronkov and Tyler Angle. Each rose 10 spots from 2019, where they were just outside of the Top 25. Among those who actually made the list last time, Kirill Marchenko rose six spots to break into the top 10.
- Liam Foudy and Trey Fix-Wolansky each fell eight spots, though that can be attributed to the new players entering ahead of them, rather than decline of their own trajectory. Tim Berni is the only eligible player who fell out of the rankings this year.
- OVERRATED: This pains me because I like the player, but I think Alexandre Texier is too high. There are at least a half-dozen players on the list who have much higher upside. It’s clear that name recognition is a powerful boost in the reader rankings. That also explains the inclusion of guys like Gabriel Carlsson and Calvin Thurkauf, whose future with the organization is in doubt.
- UNDERRATED: I don’t think there’s any glaring snub here, but I’ll say Dmitri Voronkov. His stock continues to rise in the KHL. Corson Ceulemans is a long term project but with mid-first round talent he has a very high ceiling on the blue line, and is an always-valuable right hand shot.
- OMISSIONS: The Jackets went heavy on defensemen in the last two drafts, and I would have liked to have seen even more included near the bottom. Nikolai Makarov is a big-bodied Russian defenseman. Ole Julian Bjorgvik Holm impressed in his audition with Cleveland last season and earned an ELC, so obviously the team is high on him.
- Who do you think is overrated or underrated or snubbed? Let us know in the comments.
Here are the tallies of the reader votes:
2021 T25 Reader votes
|Ole Julian Bjorgvik Holm||1||1||1||1||1||3||2||1||3||6||5||4|
Here are the writer votes:
2021 T25 Writer votes
|1||Zach Werenski||Zach Werenski||Zach Werenski||Zach Werenski|
|2||Cole Sillinger||Patrik Laine||Patrik Laine||Patrik Laine|
|3||Kirill Marchenko||Jack Roslovic||Jack Roslovic||Alex Boqvist|
|4||Patrik Laine||Adam Boqvist||Kent Johnson||Jack Roslovic|
|5||Kent Johnson||Jake Bean||Adam Boqvist||Kirill Marchenko|
|6||Jack Roslovic||Kent Johnson||Cole Sillinger||Jake Bean|
|7||Adam Boqvist||Corson Ceulemans||Kirill Marchenko||Liam Foudy|
|8||Daniil Tarasov||Alexandre Texier||Alexandre Texier||Emil Bemstrom|
|9||Yegor Chinakhov||Daniil Tarasov||Emil Bemstrom||Alexandre Texier|
|10||Dmitri Voronkov||Emil Bemstrom||Jake Bean||Andrew Peeke|
|11||Corson Ceulemans||Liam Foudy||Andrew Peeke||Danill Tarasov|
|12||Andrew Peeke||Dmitri Voronkov||Daniil Tarasov||Yegor Chinakov|
|13||Jake Bean||Andrew Peeke||Yegor Chinakhov||Carson Meyer|
|14||Alexandre Texier||Kirill Marchenko||Liam Foudy||Trey Fix-Wolansky|
|15||Liam Foudy||Yegor Chinakhov||Dmitri Voronkov||Kent Johnson|
|16||Emil Bemstrom||Trey Fix-Wolansky||Corson Ceulemans||Corson Ceulemans|
|17||Carson Meyer||Tyler Angle||Gabriel Carlsson||Dmitri Voronkov|
|18||Stanislav Svozil||Samuel Knazko||Trey Fix-Wolansky||Stanislav Svozil|
|19||Trey Fix-Wolansky||Samuel Johannesson||Tyler Angle||Tyler Angle|
|20||Tyler Angle||Ben Boyd||Eric Hjorth||Gabriel Carlsson|
|21||Josh Dunne||Guillaume Richard||Josh Dunne||Guillame Richard|
|22||Samuel Knazko||James Malatesta||Stanislav Svozil||Tim Berni|
|23||Guillaume Richard||Josh Dunne||Tim Berni|
|24||James Malatesta||Carson Meyer||Carson Meyer||Josh Dunne|
|25||Nikolai Makarov||Gabriel Carlsson||Ben Boyd||Eric Hjorth|
Dates to know
Today and tomorrow: Development Camp
Thursday-Monday: Prospect Tournament in Traverse City
Wednesday, September 22: Training camp opens (Medical and fitness test)
Thursday, September 23: Training camp continues (On-ice testing)
Monday, September 27: Preseason opener (at Pittsburgh)
Tuesday, September 28: Preaseason home opener (vs. Buffalo)
Wednesday, September 29: Preseason game (vs. St. Louis)
Saturday, October 2: Preseason game (at Detroit)
Monday, October 4: Preseason game (at Buffalo)
Wednesday, October 6: Preseason game (vs. Detroit)
Friday, October 8: Preseason game (at St. Louis)
Saturday, October 9: Preseason finale (vs. Pittsburgh)
Thursday, October 14: Regular season opener (at home vs. Arizona)
That Coyotes game will be here before you know it.
In case you missed it
In a series of SBN collaborations, Broad Street Hockey answered our questions about Jake Voracek, while I gave them insight on Cam Atkinson, and I spoke to Second City Hockey about Seth Jones (they returned the favor in our Adam Boqvist post).
Elvis Merzlikins unveiled his new goalie mask, which honors Matiss Kivlenieks:
Boone Jenner attended a Cleveland proto-Guardians game and helped the pregame analysts translate hockey terms to baseball highlights:
The cannon looks great in NHL 22!
Play me out
Last month we lost a rock legend in Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. He always seemed like an odd juxtaposition to the glam style of Mick Jagger or the slovenly bedhead of Keith Richards, with his quiet demeanor and exquisitely tailored suits. When he was behind the drum kit, however, he could drive the band forward with powerful rhythms, or rely on his jazz background to play a subtle part where necessary. He never overpowered the music and was never out of time. There’s also the time he nearly knocked Jagger out of a hotel window.
I’ve been listening to the Stones a lot over the last few weeks and it’s hard to pick a single track that highlights Watts’ greatness. Exile on Main Street is the best Stones album and the drum mix in particular still sounds amazing.