Todd Richards is not shy in saying that Sergei Bobrovsky is the backbone of the Blue Jackets.
He's also not shy in saying that Bobrovsky makes him a better coach, just another indication of how much the 25-year-old Russian goaltender means to the organization.
As he enters his third season in Columbus, Bobrovsky will once again be counted on as the No. 1 goaltender for a burgeoning Blue Jackets side that has even higher expectations in 2014-15. They got a taste of success and a six-game Stanley Cup playoffs series last spring, but losing out to the Pittsburgh Penguins left a sour taste in their mouths that lingered throughout the summer.
So it's not an understatement to say that Bobrovsky is a huge part of the equation.
In two years with the Blue Jackets, Bobrovsky has posted elite numbers: 53-31-11 with nine shutouts (the first nine of his NHL career), a 2.19 goals-against average and - the most indicative goaltending stat - a .927 save percentage.
Oh, and there's that Vezina Trophy he won in 2013.
The experts from NHL.com's Fantasy Hockey staff certainly agree that "Bob" is a top-flight goalie in the league; Bobrovsky was recently ranked No. 5 among goalies in the NHL Fantasy Top 275, a list that features nine total Blue Jackets players.
For a complete breakdown of the Top 275 rankings (and sortable categories by position), click HERE.