Jakub Voracek RW
18 years old, 6-2, 190 pounds (Kladno, Czech Republic)
Columbus's 1st pick, 7th overall, 2007 NHL Entry Draft
Voracek has put his tremendous playmaking skills on display early and often this season in the run-and-gun QMJHL. The Halifax Mooseheads forward leads all Q players with 25 assists and has added four goals in just 13 games. Voracek's play earned him the league's Offensive Player of the Month award for October, in which he averaged a gaudy 2.6 points per game (3 goals, 23 assists in 10 games).
Derick Brassard C
20 years old, 6-1, 172 pounds (Hull, Quebec)
Columbus's 71st pick, 6th overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft
The jump to the next level has certainly not intimidated Brassard, who has been a solid contributor with the Jackets' AHL affiliate the Syracuse Crunch. Brassard nabbed the Rbk Edge/AHL Rookie of the Month honours after registering four goals and 12 assists for 16 points in 12 games throughout October. The multi-talented rookie actually had points in his first four regular season games as a pro, tallying three goals to go along with four assists in that stretch. Through 14 games, his 17 total points (4-13-17) had him tied for second in AHL scoring.
Stefan Legein RW
18 years old, 5-9, 170 pounds (Oakville, Ontario)
Columbus's 2nd pick, 37th overall in 2007 NHL Entry Draft
The feisty Legein has been a force for the Niagara IceDogs so far, playing a sound two-way game that highlights his many offensive skills and his abrasive on-ice persona. The Oakville, Ontario native has 16 goals and 10 helpers through 17 games, as well as 52 minutes in penalties, far and away the highest total of PIMs among the OHL's top scorers. Only Nick Spaling of the Kitchener Rangers (17 goals) and the Oshawa Generals' superstar John Tavares (18 goals) have scored more times than Legein, whose play has helped vault the IceDogs to the top of the OHL's Central Division.
Steve Mason G
19 years old, 6-3, 186 pounds (Oakville, Ontario)
Columbus's 2nd pick, 69th overall in 2006 NHL Entry Draft
No OHL goalie has been as hot as Mason this season. The tall netminder has helped turn things around for the London Knights, who were 0-6-0-0 before Mason took the reins in net. He earned the OHL Goaltender of the Month award after posting a sparkling 7-1-0-0 record in eight starts (2.00 goals against average and .944 save percentage). Mason, the league's Goaltender of the Year in 2006-07, is 9-2-0-0 overall and was also recently named to the OHL all-star team taking part in the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge later this month.
Derek Dorsett RW
20 years old, 5-11, 176 pounds (Kindersley, Saskatchewan)
Columbus's 9th pick, 189th overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft
The small but scrappy winger is back on the ice after being assigned to the Syracuse Crunch this week. Dorsett missed over a month of action recovering from a stress fracture in his leg suffered in late September. He'll undoubtedly add some toughness to the Crunch lineup after having tallied a total 483 penalty minutes in his past two seasons with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL. But Dorsett can do more than drop the gloves – he scored 25 goals two years ago and chipped in 19 goals and 45 assists in 61 games last season. He's been a plus player in all three years as a junior, including a career-high plus-17 rating in 2006-07.
Tom Sestito LW
20 years old, 6-4, 209 pounds (Utica, New York)
Columbus's 83rd pick, 85th overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft
The big winger is adapting to life at the next level following a stellar final season of junior hockey in which he tallied 42 goals, 22 assists and 135 penalty minutes in 60 games with the OHL's Plymouth Whalers. Sestito has a goal and four assists through 12 games with the AHL's Crunch. He recently scored his first goal as a professional, beating the Hamilton Bulldogs' Jaroslav Halak for a power-play marker that proved instrumental in a 3-2 Crunch shootout win.
Jesse Dudas D
19 years old, 6-1, 228 pounds (St. Albert, Alberta)
Columbus's 8th pick, 159th overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft
Dudas is emerging into one of the Prince George Cougars’ most effective set-up men, forming a great one-two offensive punch on the blueline with teammate Ty Wishart. While Wishart leads all defensemen in WHL scoring, Dudas is holding his own, scoring once and adding 14 assists in the 18 games he's played. The skilled D-man tallied 13 of those points in the midst of an eight-game scoring streak.
Jake Hansen RW
18 years old, 6-1, 182 pounds (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Columbus's 4th pick, 68th overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft
Hansen is performing well in his first full year at the USHL level with the Sioux Falls Stampede, sitting near the top of his team in scoring. Through nine games, the former Minnesota high school star had four goals and five assists (with an even plus-minus rating), tying him for third on the roster in scoring. Hansen has proven he can thrive in special team situations, registering one of his goals on the power play, while adding a team-high four assists with the Stampede on the man advantage.