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John Moore, Columbus Blue Jackets Defenseman

John Moore is one of the newest Columbus Blue Jackets, added this past Friday at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal. Moore, a player the Blue Jackets had rated in their top 10, and who was ranked the 6th best North American skater, somehow slid to pick 21 and the Blue Jackets traded up (after trading down) to select him.

Last season, John Moore scored 14 goals and 25 assists for 39 points in 57 games with the Chicago Steel of the USHL. This fall he will be headed to the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL or Colorado College.

Previously posted in John Moore Quick Hits:

Born: 9-19-90 in Chicago, IL (age 18)

Height / Weight: 6’2” / 189 lbs.

Position: Defenseman

Shoots: Left

Here’s some more information about John Moore from around the internet.

Jeff Rimer: I understand (the Blue Jackets are) the team you had pinpointed as the team you wanted to play for in the National Hockey League.

Moore: “Oh yeah, definitely. It was a great feeling to step up there on the stage and throw on the Blue Jackets sweater and hat … I had great interactions with them throughout my season and at the combine, and I made a trip over to Columbus in the weeks between the combine and the draft … it’s just a place I had really good feelings about…”

Q. When you look at (the Blue Jackets), you know what their needs are, how do you fit into this organization?

JOHN MOORE: Well, I think Columbus can definitely use a puck-moving defenseman and power play struggled a little last year and that’s something I can come in and fill that void as a puck moving defenseman and hopefully chip in on the power play as well.

Brief John Moore Q&A following the first round.

Moore was rated the 6th best North American skater in the draft, and the top North American skater for defensemen.

The 6-foot-2, 189-pound native of Winnetka, Ill., is second in the USHL scoring lead among defensemen with 31 points. He’s also second among the league’s blueliners with 12 goals and fourth with 19 assists, and also ranks in the top 10 among league defensemen in power-play goals (5), power-play assists (10), game-winning goals (3) and shots (90).

“What separates John from the rest is that he’s tremendously skilled, a great skater, better than anyone else in the league,” said Steel coach Steve Poapst, a 14-year NHL pro who played for the Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues. “He’s head and shoulders above anyone at this level in his puck-handling, skating, ability to score. He’s getting chances because he’s at a different level.

An excellent article on John Moore from NHL.com.

NHL Central Scouting’s Jack Barzee

“I watched John Moore as an underage player and I knew he was a must see player for this year; he hasn’t disappointed me one bit. His first two strides are like Paul Coffey and he has been labeled as a world-class skater. He is poised with the puck, he gets his shots through to the net and he has gotten a lot stronger this season. He resembles (Calgary Flames) defenseman Jordan Leopold and similar to Leopold at the same age he needs to get a little bit better at playing more aggressive and more physical, but John is going to be a one-two defenseman in the NHL.”

Chicago Steel head coach Steven R. Poapst

Strengths: “John is a gifted skater with tremendous skill that allows him to create time and space with the puck and offensive opportunities. He passes the puck like a pro and has a big time shot as well.”

Weaknesses: “His defensive zone play and reading defensive rushes are the main areas in his game that he needs to continue to work on and improve on.”

Overall: “John is a true leader that approaches the game as a player that needs to get better everyday. His skills combined with his skating ability are what set him apart from the rest. He continues to grow and mature as a player and leader and continues to improve his overall game each day he comes to the rink.”

NHL.com Draft Prospect Card:

After finishing fourth overall in scoring by defensemen with 39 points (14-25-39) in 57 games in 2008-09, Moore was name the USHL Defenseman of the Year and enters the Draft as the highest ranked USHL player by Central Scouting.