I-71 Report: Draft Night


The Cleveland Monsters’ NHL affiliate, the Columbus Blue Jackets, made some noise during the second day of the NHL Draft

The 2017 NHL Entry Draft took place over the weekend at the United Center in Chicago. Despite not making a first-round selection, the Monsters’ NHL affiliate, the Columbus Blue Jackets, added seven young players to their prospect pool in this year’s draft.

Having traded their first-round selection (24th overall) to the Vegas Golden Knights, the Blue Jackets saw center William Karlsson selected by Vegas in the NHL Expansion Draft. Also sent to Vegas in the deal was forward David Clarkson and a 2019 second-round pick. In a separate exchange that sent right winger Keegan Kolesar to Vegas, Columbus received the Golden Knights’ 45th overall pick, which was used to select Grenoble (France) center Alexandre Texier.

The Blue Jackets added two other centers in the draft, selecting Emil Bemstrom (117th overall) from Sweden and Canadian Kale Howarth (148th overall). Rounding out the selections on day two of the draft were Russian goaltender Daniil Tarasov (86th overall), Swedish right wing Jonathan Davidsson (170th overall), Ohio native Carson Meyer (179th overall), and defenseman Robbie Stucker (210th overall).

The annual Blue Jackets Prospect Development Camp is currently underway and will continue through Thursday, June 29th at the OhioHealth Ice Haus in Columbus. Along with some of the new talents acquired in the draft, some familiar faces will be participating, including several players that appeared in games for the Monsters last season in Sam Vigneault, Ryan Collins and Vitaly Abramov. The full roster can be found HERE


It was also announced on Friday that the Blue Jackets traded Brandon Saad, Anton Forsberg, and a 2018 second-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte, and Chicago’s 2017 sixth round pick, which was used to select Carson Meyer. Additionally, Columbus acquired Jordan Schroeder from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Dante Salituro.

On Wednesday, June 21st, the NHL hosted its annual Awards show in Las Vegas and the Blue Jackets stole the show, taking home a slew of awards. Head Coach John Tortorella was a recipient of the Jack Adams Award, presented to the head coach of the year. The captain of the Blue Jackets, Nick Foligno, was awarded both the King Clancy Memorial Trophy and the Mark Messier Leadership Award, making him the first NHL player to win both awards in the same year. Zach Werenski, who broke the franchise record for rookie scoring, was a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy given to the year's top-performing newcomer. Columbus netminder Sergei Bobrovsky also received his second career Vezina Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s top goaltender, to round out an incredible night of accomplishments for the club.

The 2017-18 regular season begins at Nationwide Arena on Friday, October 6th, when the Blue Jackets take on the New York Islanders.

From BlueJackets.com, here are some of the dates to circle for the upcoming season:

Oct. 13 and Nov. 17 vs. NY Rangers (Rick Nash, Henrik Lundqvist and Metropolitan Division rivals)

Nov. 7 vs. Nashville Predators (lone visit by reigning Western Conference champions and former Central Division rivals)

Feb. 6 and Feb. 26 vs. Washington Capitals (Alex Ovechkin and back-to-back reigning Presidents' Trophy winners)

Feb. 18 and Apr. 5 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (Sidney Crosby and back-to-back reigning Stanley Cup champions)

Feb. 24 vs. Chicago Blackhawks (lone visit by former Central Division rival; 2010, 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup champions)

Dec. 31 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (New Year's Eve)

Mar. 6 vs. Vegas Golden Knights (debut visit by NHL's newest franchise)

Mar. 9 and Apr. 3 vs. Detroit Red Wings (former Central Division rivals)

Mar. 12 vs. Montreal Canadiens (lone visit by 24-time Stanley Cup champions)


The full 2017-18 regular season schedule can be found HERE