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Chronology: Blue Jackets at the NHL Draft

by Kristyn Repke / Columbus Blue Jackets

NOTE: With the 2013 NHL Draft just days away and three first-round picks, the Blue Jackets have quite a few options to consider. Let’s take a look back at what moves the Blue Jackets have made on Draft Day over the years.

2000: In their very first NHL Draft, the Blue Jackets made their first draft selection in franchise history and took defenseman Rostislav Klesla of the Brampton Battalion (OHL) fourth overall. Klesla played 10 seasons for the Blue Jackets, posting 133 points over 515 games for Columbus. The Blue Jackets chose 10 other players, including Petteri Nummelin and Andrej Nedorost, who both went on to play for the franchise.

2001: Tim Jackman, Aaron Johnson, Andrew Murray and Pascal Leclaire highlighted the decisions made by the Blue Jackets at the NHL Draft hosted in Sunrise, Florida. Drafted eighth overall, Leclaire had an outstanding 2007-08 season in net for the Blue Jackets. Jackman has had the longest NHL career of the Blue Jackets’ 2001 draft picks, as he has played in 390 NHL games and played last season (2012-13) for the Calgary Flames. 

2002: The Blue Jackets ended up with the first pick overall because they traded selections with the Florida Panthers. With that selection, the Blue Jackets chose Rick Nash—arguably the best draft pick in franchise history. During his first season, Nash was nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie. In his second season, Nash shared the Rocket Richard Trophy (with Jarome Iginla and Ilya Kovalchuk) for scoring the most goals in the league that season when he put 41 pucks in the net. Nash played in 674 games and had 454 points during his time in Columbus, and was the club’s captain for four seasons.

Seven other players in the Blue Jackets’ draft class went on to see NHL action, including Joakim Lindstrom, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, Lasse Pirjeta, Jaroslav Balastik (remember his shootout prowess?), Greg Mauldin and Steven Goertzen.

2003: With 10 picks in hand, Nikolai Zherdev was selected fourth overall and made the biggest immediate impact for the organization. He played 57 games and contributed 34 points in the 2003-04 season as a rookie. The Blue Jackets also selected Parma, Ohio native Dan Fritsche, making him the first Ohio-born player drafted in Blue Jackets history.

Dan Fritsche (center) was the first Ohioan to play for the Jackets.

2004: The Blue Jackets selected 12 players in the NHL Draft, including Alexandre Picard at eighth overall.

2005: This draft was altered due to it following the 2004-05 NHL lockout. A lottery system was used, but picks depended on the number of playoff appearances over the previous three seasons and the number of times teams were awarded the first overall pick over the past four years. The Blue Jackets held eight picks in the NHL Draft and selections included Jared Boll, Kris Russell, Adam McQuaid and Gilbert Brule. All four of these players went on to play an average of 300 games each. Both Boll and Russell made their NHL debuts in the 2007-08 season, making the Blue Jackets roster out of training camp.

2006: Blue Jackets selections included Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett and Steve Mason. Brassard went sixth overall and made the jump to the NHL in the 2007-08 season for 17 games. He made the Blue Jackets’ roster and played 75+ games per season from 2009-2012. Mason took over the starting goaltender duties in 2008-09 and won the Calder Trophy as the club qualified for the playoffs for the first time. Before a devastating, season-ending shoulder injury early in the season, Brassard put up 25 points in 31 games. In 2013, both Brassard and Dorsett were part of a blockbuster trade that brought star winger Marian Gaborik to Columbus at the trading deadline.

2007: Columbus hosted its first NHL Draft in front of a packed Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets selected Jakub Voracek of the Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) at seventh overall. He averaged 80 games per season for the Blue Jackets between 2008-2011.

2008: You might recognize two names selected by the Blue Jackets on the weekend of June 20-21—Cam Atkinson and Matt Calvert were drafted this year and were big contributors to the club this past season. Sixth overall pick Nikita Filatov became the first Blue Jackets rookie in franchise history to record a hat trick in the 2008-09 season, when he tallied three goals in a Columbus victory over the Minnesota Wild at Nationwide Arena.

Matt Calvert enjoyed a breakout season in Columbus in 2012-13.

2009: After trading several picks, the Blue Jackets selected six players at the NHL Draft held at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Of these six, first-round pick John Moore of the USHL’s Chicago Steel and fourth round selection David Savard are two players to have seen NHL ice time.

2010: Two current roster players were drafted in 2010, including No. 4 overall pick Ryan Johansen. He made the NHL jump a year after he was drafted, playing almost entire seasons for the Blue Jackets in 2011-12 and 2012-13. During that time, he had 33 points in 107 games for the organization. Dalton Prout was selected in the sixth round, and was +15 in 28 games for the Blue Jackets in 2012-13.

2011: The Blue Jackets traded their first round pick (eighth overall) the 2011 NHL Draft in the Jeff Carter deal, so their first selection was Boone Jenner out of the OHL in the second round at No. 37 overall. Jenner impressed scouts with his leadership on and off the ice, and his ability to impact a game regardless of the role he was placed in.The 6-2, 204-pound center recorded 111 goals and 135 assists for 246 points, 263 penalty minutes and a cumulative +22 plus/minus rating in 227 career OHL games.

2012: In Pittsburgh, the Blue Jackets selected Ryan Murray with the second overall pick. The Blue Jackets picked five other players in the draft, including goaltenders Oscar Dansk and Joonas Korpisalo, wingers Josh Anderson and Daniel Zaar, and sturdy defenseman Gianluca Curcuruto.

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