Columbus Blue Jackets – Offseason Prospect System Review




Thanks for joining us for our August 31-in-31 series! Every day this month we will be taking a look at each team and diving into their prospect depth charts, risers and fallers, graduating prospects, and top ten prospects in the system.





The most talked about offseason move by the Columbus Blue Jackets is one which wasn’t made; trading or extending first line winger Artemi Panarin. In June, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman broke the unexpected news that the star isn’t interested in a new contract with Columbus at this time. Since then trade and contract speculation has been rampant. For the time being, he is a Blue Jacket and if that doesn’t change by the start of the puck drop, one can argue that Columbus has quietly improved their team going into next year.


A quick note regarding coaching staff. The Blue Jackets have promoted former All-Star netminder and 18 year NHL veteran, Manny Legace, to goaltender coach with the big club. This comes after five years with the team’s AHL affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters, under the same title.



Riley Nash, C/RW

Anthony Duclair, LW/RW

Adam Clendening, D

Dillon Simpson, D

Tommy Cross, D

Jean-François Bérubé, G



Thomas Vanek, LW/RW

Matt Calvert, LW/RW

Mark Letestu, C

Jordan Schroeder, C/RW

Ryan Kujawinski, C

Jack Johnson, D

Ian Cole, D

Cameron Gaunce, D

Taylor Chorney, D

André Benoît, D

Jeff Zakoff, G


Of note:

Riley Nash was arguably a top 10 available UFA this summer and should be considered an upgrade at center over Mark Letestu. Anthony Duclair was signed to a one year inexpensive show me contract. He is three years removed from scoring 20 goals as a rookie, and at age 22, the kid still has a lot to prove.


RFA signings:

Boone Jenner, C/LW

Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW/LW

Ryan Murray, D


Graduating Players


Pierre-Luc Dubois, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Lukas Sedlak, and Markus Nutivaara.


Barring any surprises, the above mentioned Nash and Duclair, along with the graduates, should replace the departed as roster regulars. This still leaves a few remaining spots to be had.


Knock Knock:

Vitali “Vitaly” Abramov, RW/LW

Markus Hännikäinen, LW/RW

Sonny Milano, LW/RW

Eric Robinson, LW   

Alex Broadhurst, C

Liam Foudy, C

Gabriel Carlsson, D

Scott Harrington, D

Dean Kukan, D




  1. Sonny Milano, LW
  2. Markus Hännikäinen, LW/RW
  3. Scott Harrington, D
  4. Vitali Abramov, LW




  1. Calvin Thürkauf, LW
  2. Maxime Fortier, RW
  3. Blake Siebenaler, D
  4. Matiss Kivlenieks, G


Prospect Depth Chart


Left Wing

Vitali “Vitaly” Abramov, AHL

Sonny Milano, NHL/AHL

Alexandre Texier, Liiga

Calvin Thürkauf, AHL

Paul Bittner, AHL

Kale Howarth, NCAA

Markus Hännikäinen, NHL/AHL



Kevin Stenlund, AHL

Liam Foudy, OHL

Emil Bemström, SHL

Alex Broadhurst, AHL

Ryan MacInnis, AHL

Peter Quenneville, Norway


Right Wing

Kirill Marchenko, MHL

Jonathan Davidsson, SHL

Kole Sherwood, AHL

Maxime Fortier, AHL

Carson Meyer, NCAA

Tyler Bird, NCAA

Trey Fix-Wolanksy, WHL

Marcus Karlberg, Allsvenskan



Gabriel Carlsson, AHL

Dean Kukan, NHL/AHL

Vladislav Gavrikov, KHL

Blake Siebenaler, AHL

Dillon Simpson, AHL       

Ryan Collins, AHL

Adam Clendening, AHL

Andrew Peeke, NCAA

Tim Berni, NLA

Robbie Stucker, NCAA



Elvis Merzlikins, NLA

Daniil Tarasov, MHL

Peter Thome, NCAA

Matiss Kivlenieks, AHL

Veini Vehvilainen, Liiga


Top Ten Fantasy Prospects


  1. Vitali Abramov, LW
  2. Sonny Milano, LW
  3. Kirill Marchenko, RW
  4. Alexandre Texier, LW
  5. Liam Foudy, C
  6. Gabriel Carlsson, D
  7. Elvis Merzlikins, G
  8. Kevin Stenlund, C
  9. Maxime Fortier, RW
  10. Jonathan Davidsson, RW



Jesse Sherman @MontrealActor



Image courtesy of


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Garin Bjorklund 5.5 5.5
Hunter Shepard 8.0 4.0
Mitchell Gibson 7.0 5.5
Clay Stevenson 8.0 7.0
Stepan Gorbunov 4.0 4.5
Matvei Shuravin 5.0 6.5
Justin Poirier 8.0 6.0
Noel Fransen 7.0 5.0
Alexander Daryin 5.0 2.0
Carson Bantle 4.0 3.5