The business of searching for prospects is all about projections.
Watch this young hockey player and figure out what he can be down the road -- that's the business scouts find themselves in.
Then, from the fan perspective, the curiosity is usually a simple one: Tell me the kind of player this guy can be.
With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to ask some of the Blue Jackets prospects in town for this year's development camp a simple question: Are there any players they look up to and try to pattern their games after? That figured to be a good way to figure out what these players are all about, and luckily they all had some pretty good answers.
F Carson Meyer
2017 sixth-round draft pick
2018-19: Ohio State (NCAA)
Height/weight: 5-11, 185
"I've obviously narrowed my focus now that I know what kind of player I am. Growing up, it was like Rick Nash and Alex Ovechkin. I loved to watch those two, Nash obviously being a local guy, but now I try to watch guys like me. I think I have some good offensive ability and I can throw my weight around when I want to. I can be physical and throw some hits. I like watching guys like T.J. Oshie. I play the same spot as him on the power play, the middle spot, and stuff like that. I try to watch higher-energy guys, guys that skate a lot because that's what I'm trying to do is move my feet all the time, so somebody like Boone Jenner, Zach Hyman."
D Tim Berni
2018 sixth-round draft pick
2018-19: ZSC Lions (Switzerland)
Height/weight: 5-11, 174
"I was really following Roman Josi growing up, and I try to play the game like he does and skate a lot, be offensive and also do the job in my D-zone. He's really good. He also played in the pro league in Switzerland, so I'm at the same spot right now."
Have you always modeled your game after him or is that more recent? "It was actually when I was younger -- a few years ago when he made the team in Nashville."
Do you play the same style of game as him? "Right now, I'm a little more defensive and two-way. He's a really offensive guy. I watched him at the World Championships. He's skating all the time. I try to do the same, but I think I have to make small steps in that direction and improve my defensive game also."
F Tyler Angle
2019 seventh-round draft pick
2018-19: Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
Height/weight: 5-10, 167
"I think a good player in the NHL right now is a guy like Brendan Gallagher from the Montreal Canadiens. He's not one of the biggest guys. He comes in every game, works hard, works to the last buzzer, gets under guys' skins, get those star players on the teams, get them a little mad at him, draw those penalties and get points, too."
The Blue Jackets said they liked your compete level after you were drafted. Is that something you can bring like Gallagher? "Honestly, you're friends with the guys off the ice, but not on it. Some of the guys here (at dev camp) played in the OHL, they probably hated me as I played against them. Talking here, we're buddies, but once I'm on the ice I'm nobody's friend."
D Eric Hjorth
2019 fourth-round draft pick
2018-19: Linkoping (Sweden U-18 and U-20)
Height/weight: 6-3, 192
"I think it's John Klingberg in Dallas. I try to model his game a lot. He's a very good defenseman. He's from Goteborg, actually -- the same town as me. I don't know him as much, but I had his dad as a coach some years back, so I knew his dad a lot better."
Did his dad ever say you remind him of John? "He was saying that John and I are the same type of player who like taking risks on offense."
F Kale Howarth
2017 fifth-round draft pick
2018-19: UConn (NCAA)
Height/weight: 6-4, 205
"Jamie Benn is a guy I try to model my game after. He's a skilled power forward, a good skater. I do a lot of video on him with my coach back at school and do my best to try to model his game. I just like how strong he is on the puck down low. Guys can't get the puck off him, and that's something I have to work on, getting stronger. He's a really fast forward and can get open and make some nice plays. That's another thing I try to do. It was easier in juniors, but getting up to the bigger leagues it's a little bit harder so I just keep trying to work on those things."
F Markus Karlberg
2018 third-round draft pick
2018-19: Leksands (Sweden U-20 and pro minor leagues)
Height/weight: 5-8, 165
"I like to watch Filip Forsberg. He's from my hometown (Leksand) and he is the player I would like to be. He is a little bit bigger, but that's something I'm also working on. His teammate (in Nashville), Viktor Arvidsson, they're both kind of similar. Viktor is a little bit more speedy like me, but those are two I like to look at."
It has to be pretty cool to have that hometown tie. "Yeah, of course. I know him also a bit outside of the ice and he's a great guy, so that's something I'm also trying to be. He's actually practicing with our men's team, so he is doing everything we do in the summers. I think it's a big inspiration for all of us, having him there to practice with us and we can see what it takes to come over here."
F Johnny Walker
Free agent invite (led college hockey in goals per game in 2018-19)
2018-19: Arizona State (NCAA)
Height/weight: 6-1, 185
"I don't know if this is the right place to say, but I'm a huge Brad Marchand fan. Obviously, knowing that I was coming here, it was tough to root for Brad Marchand (in the playoffs), but I like the way he plays. He's not an overly big guy, but he's not very fun to play against. He doesn't make a lot of friends out there, and he likes to score goals. That's why I try to model my game after."
Would you like to be him but without the extracurricular stuff that gets him in trouble? "I think when you score 40 goals in the NHL, you can kind of get away with stuff like that. He's kind of earned that right. I don't know if I'm going to go out there licking anyone, but when a guy like that is a 40-goal scorer in the NHL and he can get under your skin, whatever it is, the way he does it, he's obviously doing something right. I try to keep it a little more simple, a heavier, harder game."