Courtesy of Carlin Stiehl / MLive.com

Fantasy Summary

Undersized but physical right-handed defenseman with decent puck skills and refined defensive habits. Could become a top-four blue-liner in the near future, but likely tops out as a 5-6D with some power-play upside.


Observations

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May 2022 – Blankenburg represented USA in the Men’s Worlds in Finland, where he played 4 games. He didn’t have the biggest role, but showed some positives, like his great foot work and good on-puck skills. Unfortunately, his tournament was over after he got injured in the 4th game. Eetu Siltanen

May 2022 – After posting 14 goals and 15 assists in 38 games in his senior year at Michigan University, Blankenburg earned an entry-level contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets and took his first steps in the NHL shortly after. The former Wolverines captain played seven games near the end of the regular season, earning a goal and two assists in that span.

For a 5-foot-9 defender, Blankenburg shows exceptional physicality and body positioning both in open ice and along the boards, to go along with a polished defensive game and a toolkit of puck skills that make him one of the most well-rounded college signings of the year. His compete level is off the charts, and he shows good composure with the puck. The Jackets might just have acquired a roster player for free, as the prospect has outplayed most of their bottom-pair options and set himself up for a spot in training camp this fall. Hadi Kalakeche