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With the 4th Pick in the 2024 NHL Draft the Columbus Blue Jackets select…

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Potential 4th Overall Pick for the Columbus Blue Jackets

written by: #GoldenKuraly

The 2024 NHL Draft lottery show was last night, it didn’t come without a little bit of drama, however. A few hours prior to the draft lottery, John Buccigross @BucciOT.com appeared to have “leaked” the draft order, by tweeting a picture and almost at once removing it. For hours, hockey fans everywhere wondered if this would be the true final product, thus sending hockey internet into a flurry of conspiracy theories and such. Ultimately, it ended up with no movement in the top 16 at all. Many fans were wondering if this was because Bucci “leaked the script” and the authorities at the NHL decided to switch it up.

Regardless of how you feel about the draft lottery being rigged or not, San Jose seems to be getting there star forward in Macklin Celebrini, which does seem awfully fishy after Macklin’s father, Rick Celebrini, the Director of Sports Medicine for the Golden State Warriors said in an interview it would be great if his son could stay close to home to start his professional career.

“We talk about it all the time. We try not to go there either. Because it’s out of our hands, and you really don’t want to be disappointed either. But as a family, it would be unbelievable to have him here with us in the Bay where we can help him and support him.”

-Dr. Rick Celebrini on if Mack goes to San Jose

With all this said, Our Blue Jackets have secured to 4th overall pick, and currently there are a few players who could make impacts on this team. So here is my 4 player “wish list” on who I think the Jackets will draft, in no particular order. This 100% hinges on who the Blue Jackets hire as GM (more on that here).

Zayne Parekh, Defense, Saginaw

Zayne Parekh was named the 2024 OHL Defensive Player of the Year, and for good reason. He broke Saginaw Spirit records in both goals, 33, and points, 96. He is very much an offensive defenseman. This is a dilemma for the Blue Jackets, we have several defensemen (Stanislav Svozil, David Jiricek, Corsen Ceulemans, Denton Mateychuk) who are currently developing in their respective minor leagues, it takes a while to develop defensemen. Parekh’s defensive game has holes that may or may not get better with experience, but he would be a high risk/high reward type of player as his offensive production might balance out his defensive miscues. If we are being honest though, the Jackets can’t really afford to have any more holes in their defensive game.

Cayden Lindstrom, Center, Medicine Hat

Lindstrom is a 6’4” 215-220lbs Center, whose bruising style of play is similar to that of a young Joe Thornton. Unfortunately for Cayden, injuries derailed his playoff run this past season which may have hurt his draft stock. In any other class Lindstrom could have been a 1st overall pick. Before being sidelined with a hand injury Lindstrom had a monster December, going on a 13 goal, 21-point 12 game heater. Size and skill are a determining factor here, the Blue Jackets forward pool has plenty of skill with names like Kent Johnson, Luca Del Bel Belluz, and Gavin Brindley waiting in the wings, now would be the time to beef that up with a monster Center. Fantilli, Lindstrom, and Voronkov as this team’s top 3 Middlemen would do wonders for this team’s grit and toughness. At just 18, it is unclear if Cayden would crack the NHL roster this season or if he would have to go back to Medicine Hat for at least 1 more season.

Konsta Helenius, Center, Jukurit

Konsta Helenius has already played two full seasons in Finland’s Top Hockey league, Liiga, despite only being 17 years old, he’ll be 18 about a month prior to the NHL draft. Posting 17-30-47 the past two seasons, most experts agree he is the most well-rounded European Player available in this year’s draft. Despite only being 5’11 and 180 pounds, Konsta is capable of a strong defensive game, utilizing his puck vision and hockey IQ to anticipate passes and steal them. He would be a great pick-up for the Blue Jackets, as he has the skill to make an impact, and isn’t far from being NHL ready. His main downfall, however, is despite all his skill and tools, there isn’t one that stands out above the other skaters in this draft class. I wouldn’t hate this pick, however, like I said in my earlier paragraph, I feel like this team needs to get bigger.

Anton Silayev, Defense, Torpedo

Anton Silayev is a left-handed defenseman, which is something the Jackets ARE lacking, there is a log jam of RHD. There is plenty of upside to Silayev, so much so that I would have a tough time picking anyone else if he’s still on the board at 4. Being only 18, and already 6’7” there is a strong chance he could be “the next Chara”, unfortunately he’s a little light for his height only weighing 210 lbs. Silayev isn’t going to score a ton of goals, he is a defensive defenseman, who spends his time on ice, expertly plugging holes, and making sure the puck doesn’t reach the goalie, which is definitely the Blue Jackets are currently lacking. He has two years remaining on his KHL contract which would mean we wouldn’t even see him in Columbus until the 2026-2027 season, giving him two more years to develop his game on a professional level before landing in Ohio. Silayev has told Russian media that Columbus and Utah are the two clubs that have reached out to him the most.

Whether Columbus goes with a forward or drafts a strong defenseman the 5th Line is going to embrace him. Personally, I would like to see Cayden Linstrom in Union Blue the most out of all the draft prospects listed here. To me, that just seems like the smart pick for the new GM. Draft another big body center to slot in at 2C behind Fantilli. We have just over a month until the NHL draft, and as we get closer it will be clearer on where the chips will fall.




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