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A Look Back at the Draft: 2001

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

2001 Entry Draft

The Blue Jackets second Entry Draft took place in Sunrise, Florida at what was previously known as the National Car Rental Center (now the BankAtlantic Center) on June 23-24, 2001. The Atlanta Thrashers had the first overall pick and used it to select high-scoring left winger Ilya Kovalchuk.

The second pick was held by the Ottawa Senators, who acquired the pick from the New York Islanders. The Senators selected Windsor Spitfires center Jason Spezza. Tampa Bay took Russian center Alexander Svitov – a former Blue Jacket – with the third overall pick. The Blue Jackets held the eighth overall pick and tabbed goaltender Pascal Leclaire of the Halifax Mooseheads.

Two other players selected in the 2001 first round have played or are playing for the Blue Jackets. The Vancouver Canucks selected current Blue Jackets left wing R.J. Umberger with the 16th overall pick, while the Buffalo Sabres picked former Columbus center Jiri Novotny with the 22nd overall selection.


Player Position Round Overall Team
Pascal Leclaire G


8 Montreal (QMJHL)
Tim Jackman RW 2 38 Minnesota State-Mankato (WCHA)
Kiel McLeod C 2 53* Kelowna (WHL)
Aaron Johnson D 3 85 Rimouski (QMJHL)
Per Mars C 3 87# Brynes (Sweden)
Cole Jarrett D 5 141 Plymouth (OHL)
Justin Aikins  C 6 173 Langley (BCJHL)
Artem Vostrikov C 6 187+ Togliatti (Russia Jr.)
Raffaele Sannitz C 7 204 Lugano (Switz.)
Ryan Bowness RW 8 236 Brampton (OHL)
Andrew Murray C 8 242 Selkirk (MJHL)

*Acquired from Montreal
#Acquired from Buffalo
+Acquired from Pittsburgh

Andrew Murray

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT – ANDREW MURRAY, CENTER (8th round, 242nd overall pick)

Andrew Murray's path to the NHL was not short and sweet. Matter of fact, his NHL debut came over six years after he was drafted. But the patience and the path he took to get to the highest level of hockey has more than paid off for the native of Selkirk, Manitoba.

After being drafted by the Blue Jackets, Murray went to Bemidji State University, where he played all four years. He tallied 46-69-115 and 131 penalty minutes in 128 career games for the Beavers, including being named to the CHA All-Rookie Team in 2001-02.

Murray's professional career began in 2005-06 with the Syracuse Crunch, Columbus’ American Hockey League affiliate. He registered 13-16-29, 73 penalty minutes and was +4 in 77 games during his rookie season. He put up similar numbers the next season and opened the 2007-08 season scoring 13 goals in 34 games. The hot start led to a call-up to the Blue Jackets and his NHL debut at Nashville on December 27. In his third career game, he scored the first goal of his NHL career at Anaheim on January 2 and followed that up with goals in two of the next four games.

Murray has not seen the AHL since he made his NHL debut in 2007 and has collected 19-9-28 and 28 penalty minutes in 152 career NHL games. He set career highs in 2008-09 with 8-3-11 in 67 games and was limited to 46 games in 2009-10 due to injuries.


"Murray was selected late in the process and he is proof that there are many different ways to make the NHL. His hard work, dedication and sincerity were some of the reason we selected him and he's given us things that only overrachievers can. It's a benefit to any organization to be able to pick people late in the process and have them come in and be strong contributors at the pro level and he's been that for us."

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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