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A Look Back at the Draft: 2004

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

2004 Entry Draft

The Washington Capitals were faced with a dilemma – a good dilemma – at the 2004 Entry Draft, held at RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina on June 26-27. It was clear the club was going to get a star player with the pick, but the choice was, which superstar Russian player to select, Magnitogorsk Center Evgeni Malkin or Dynamo left wing Alexander Ovechkin. With the second overall pick, the Pittsburgh Penguins had the easiest job at the Draft, take the player who was not selected. The Capitals selected Ovechkin first overall and Malkin went second to the Penguins.

The Blue Jackets started the day by trading their first round pick, No. 4 overall, to the Carolina Hurricanes for a first round pick, No. 8 overall, and a second round pick, No. 59 overall. After Medicine Hat Tigers defenseman Cam Barker was taken third overall by the Chicago Blackhawks, the Hurricanes selected Calgary Hitmen left wing Andrew Ladd. Breck right wing Blake Wheeler (Phoenix), Michigan goalie Al Montoya (NY Rangers) and Vitkovice center Rostislav Olesz (Florida) were tabbed before Columbus took Lewiston MAINEiacs left wing Alexandre Picard. Anaheim took Liberec defenseman Ladislav Smid and Atlanta selected Kitchener defenseman Boris Valabik to round out the Top 10.


Player Position Round Overall Team
Alexandre Picard LW


8* Lewiston (QMJHL)
Adam Pineault RW 2 46+ Boston College (HEA)
Kyle Wharton D 2 59* Ottawa (OHL)
Dan LaCosta G 3 93# Owen Sound (OHL)
Andrei Pleckhanov D 3 96 Nizhnekamsk 2 (Russia)
Petr Pohl RW 5 133 Gatineau (QMJHL)
Rob Page D 6 167 Blake School (US-HS)
Lennart Petrell C 6 190@ IFK Jr. (Finland)
Justin Vienneau D 7 198 Shawinigan (WMJHL)
Brian McGuirk LW 8 231 Gov. Drummer Academy (US-HS)
Matt Greer LW 8 233- White BEar Lake (US-HS)
Grant Clitsome D 9 271^ Nepean (CJHL)

* Acquired from Carolina
# Acquired from Vancouver
+ Acquired from Calgary
^ Acquired from Los Angeles
@ Acquired from Boston
- Acquired from NY Rangers

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT – GRANT CLITSOME, DEFENSEMAN (9th round, 271st overall pick)

Grant Clitsome

Grant Clitsome had to wait to make his NHL debut, but when he did, he did it in style, etching his name into the Blue Jackets record book. He became the first player in franchise history to record multiple assists when making his NHL debut with the club and only the second to register a multi-point game, as he registered two assists against Vancouver on March 2. Jakub Voracek had a goal and an assist in his debut on October 10, 2008 at Dallas.

The Blue Jackets selected Clitsome in the ninth round, 271st overall, in 2004 out of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. He had 13-26-39 and 67 penalty minutes in 55 games for Nepean helping the club win the CJHL championship. He was named Second-Team CJHL All-Star and was the runner-up for the CJHL Defensive Defenseman.

Clitsome then spent the next four seasons playing for Clarkson University (ECAC) and tallied 16-57-73, 122 penalty minutes and a cumulative plus/minus rating of +32 in 150 career games. His freshman season he led the Golden Knights defensemen in points and finished second in assists and points his sophomore year in 2005-06. The next season, he set a career high in goals and helped the club win the ECAC tournament championship. He led Clarkson defensemen in goals, assists and points.

His senior season in 2007-08 saw him record 5-17-22, 28 penalty minutes and a +19 in 39 games. Again, he led club defensemen in goals, assists and points en route to leading the Golden Knights to the ECAC regular season championship. He was named Second-Team RBK All-American, First-Team ECAC All-Star defenseman and was a NCAA East Regional Team selection. Clitsome boasted the best plus/minus rating of all ECAC hockey players and was named to the ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team. He made his professional debut after his collegiate career was over, appearing in one playoff game for the Syracuse Crunch, Columbus’ American Hockey League affiliate.

The Gloucester, Ontario native joined the Crunch full time in 2008-09 and notched 4-15-19 and 74 penalty minutes during his first full professional season. Clitsome spent the majority of the 2009-10 campaign with the Crunch prior to his NHL debut. He had 5-15-20 and 42 penalty minutes in 64 games with Syracuse at the time of his recall. He finished the season with Columbus, which included his first NHL goal on March 27 against the New York Islanders. He had 1-2-3, six penalty minutes in 11 games with the Blue Jackets.


"Clitsome was smart player, very strong and very committed to making himself better. You pick guys late and there are hockey reasons, but also you want character individuals. There are many players selected late and most of them never play... many because they don't have that positive attitude that Grant displayed to us. Now, he is rounding into an NHL defenseman and should be regular in the near future."

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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