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A Look Back at the Draft: 2000

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

2000 Entry Draft

A day after selecting 26 players, including Tyler Wright, Geoff Sanderson, Lyle Odelein and Kevin Dineen, in the 2000 Expansion Draft, the Columbus Blue Jackets returned to the Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta to participate in their inaugural National Hockey League Entry Draft on Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25.

Earlier that month, the New York Islanders won the NHL Draft Drawing to earn the first overall pick to be followed by the Atlanta Thrashers. A coin flip was then held between that year's expansion teams – the Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild – to determine who would follow the Thrashers. The Wild won the coin flip and the third pick with Columbus selecting fourth.

With the first overall pick, the Islanders selected Boston University goaltender Rick DiPietro. Atlanta tabbed University of Wisconsin forward Dany Heatley with the second pick and Minnesota selected Slovakian forward Marian Gaborik before Blue Jackets general manager Doug MacLean tabbed defenseman Rostislav Klesla of the Ontario Hockey League's Brampton Battalion as the club's first-ever draft pick at number four.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 2000 ENTRY DRAFT PICKS

Player Position Round Overall Team
Rostislav Klesla D

 1

4 Brampton (OHL)
Ben Knopp RW 3 69 Moose Jaw (WHL)
Petteri Nummelin D 5 133 HC Davos (Switz.)
Scott Heffernan D 5 138* Sarnia (OHL)
Tyler Kolarik C 5 150 Deerfield Academy (USHSE)
Shane Bendera G 6 169 Red Deer (WHL)
Janne Jokila   LW 7 200 TPS (Finland)
Peter Zingoni  C 8 231 New England (EJHL)
Martin Paroulek  LW 9 278# Vsetin HC (Czech)
Andrej Nedorost C 9 286+ ESC Essen (Germany)
Louis Mandeville D 9 292^ Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)

*Acquired from Boston
#Acquired from San Jose
+Acquired from Florida
^Acquired from Detroit


Rostislav Klesla

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT – ROSTISLAV KLESLA, DEFENSE (1st round, 4th overall pick)

The Novy Jicin, Czech Republic native enters the 2010-11 season having registered 38 goals, 85 assists and 123 points to go along with 482 penalty minutes in 470 career games with the Blue Jackets. Klesla is the franchise's all-time leader among defensemen in goals, assists, points and penalty minutes and only three players have played more games as a Blue Jacket – David Vyborny (543) and Rick Nash (517).

He is the lone player remaining who suited up in the club's inaugural game vs. the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 7, 2000. After scoring a pair of goals in eight games that season, including his first career goal in the franchise's first-ever win at Calgary on Oct. 12, 2000, he returned to Brampton for the remainder of the 2000-01 season. The No. 2-ranked North American skater and top-ranked defensemen prior the 2000 Entry Draft, Klesla led the Czech Republic to a gold medal at the World Junior Championships and was named the top NHL prospect by The Hockey News in 2000-01.

The following season, he joined the Blue Jackets for good and was named to the 2001-02 NHL All-Rookie Team after collecting 8-8-16 and 74 penalty minutes in 75 games. He was selected to play in the NHL YoungStars Game in 2002 (missed the game due to injury) and 2003. Klesla's best season was 2006-07 when he registered a career-high 9-13-22 and 105 penalty minutes in 75 games. The following season, he tallied 6-12-18 and 60 penalty minutes with a +8 plus/minus rating and was one of only two Blue Jackets to play in all 82 games (Nikolai Zherdev). Injuries have limited him to just 60 games the past two seasons.

BOYD ON KLESLA

"Klesla proved by virtue of his play in major tournaments at the junior level that he was a world class player. He was a defenseman we picked, at that point, to be with our organization for a long time and that has proven to be the case. He was drafted by the Blue Jackets and has been a mainstay in our organization."

Blue Jackets Director of Hockey Operations and Player Personnel Don Boyd joined the organization in 1999 as director of amateur scouting. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, he has spent the past 30 years as a general manager, coach and scout in the NHL, NCAA and Canadian Hockey League.

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