Bedard or Bust?

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Why the Columbus Blue Jackets will be fine, even IF they lose the lottery.

Written By: #GoldenKuraly  Columbus Blue Jackets Beat Writer for Regeneration Sports Network.

With three-quarters of the 2022-2023 NHL season in the books, the season has gone worse than expected for the Boys in Union Blue from Columbus, Ohio. Many people fans, and analysts alike, are expected the Blue Jackets to walk away with the ultimate prize-winning tank, Connor Bedard this summer. Bedard has been regaled as “the next Sidney Crosby” or “Great One” boasting ridiculous numbers for the WHL Regina Pats. In 50 games, he has scored 61 goals with 64 assists for 125 total points. Let’s face it, THIS is the kid a franchise in “rebuild mode” wants to have. Wants to have, but even with embracing the “Tank for Bedard” campaign, and coming in last place, that only gives the team a 25% chance to land the #1 overall pick, that’s a whole 75% chance that the Blue Jackets won’t get it. And if we were being honest with ourselves, that would be more likely Columbus’ luck.

With the SECOND PICK of the 2023 NHL Draft, the Columbus Blue Jackets select Adam Fantilli, Center, University of Michigan. Adam is a big, bodied Center. In his 31 games as a freshman, he’s posted 25 goals and 31 assists, for 56 total points. While he may not be the generational talent Bedard is projected to be, Fantilli isn’t a slouch of a consolation prize. His size, speed, and puck control will make him a great addition to the line-up. His ability to weave through defenders while maintaining puck control will make him great on the Powerplay unit. The “downfall” with picked Fantilli, however, is that he has already committed to playing a second season at the University of Michigan, which will only help him develop his defensive game further. A few experts have compared Fantilli, to a young Patrice Bergeron, which is a great “consolation” prize.

With the top two picks down, we can look at someone who I think isn’t getting enough respect, and he’s already a committed Blue Jacket. Drafted in the 3rd Round of the 2022 NHL Draft, #96 overall: Jordan Dumais playing for the QMJHL Halifax Moosehead. Remember this name. I’m telling you. This man will be a staple for the Jackets. In his 57 games, he has 47 goals and 73 assists for 120 total points. This young winger could spend his whole career feeding Kirill Marchenko the puck and they’d both put up numerous points doing so.

Kent Johnson, Kirill Marchenko, David Jiricek, Corson Ceulemans, Jordan Dumais, Cole Sillinger, Nick Blankenburg, Yegor Chinakov, these are all players who are the future of the Blue Jackets core, if Jarmo can lock them down, this team will be a contender very, very soon. Also, let’s not forget that Patrik Laine is only 24 despite having been in the league for 7 years.

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