Cody Goloubef might not be the best stay-at-home defenseman or top offensive threat from the blue line, but he is a good combination of the two, which bodes well for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Goloubef, selected No. 37 by Columbus at the 2008 Entry Draft, is a speedy defenseman who makes a good first pass out of his own zone. He also is a proficient power-play point man and has learned to take care of his own zone.
NHL Central Scouting's Jack Barzee believes Goloubef is a dependable two-way defenseman with a powerful shot who has been trained in a defense-first environment at the University of Wisconsin.
"When I first saw Cody I really liked his game," Barzee said. "He is compact and he's strong, with a wide stance. He's a good, powerful skater. He thinks the game well, has a really good shot and makes that first pass consistently. He is a solid two-way player that is going to play on your power play. He played for a defensive-style team at Wisconsin. His conservative play meant that I don't think a lot of scouts have seen the offensive side of him enough, but he's a potential top-four defenseman in the National Hockey League, maybe top three. He's playing against guys who are at least three years older than him. If he was playing in the USHL he might have the puck all the time and be dominating, but he handled it well -- he's a solid kid."
Goloubef was the second-youngest NCAA player last season and had a modest 4 goals and 6 assists in 40 games, but that doesn't tell the whole story because Wisconsin is a defensive juggernaut that doesn't take many offensive chances.
While the numbers might not show it, Goloubef considers himself as an offensive defenseman.
"I think that (offensive defenseman) is a fair title," Goloubef told the Wisconsin Badger Herald. "I'm the (defenseman) that's going to make the first pass out of the zone every time, likes to jump up into the rush and fool around with the puck at the blue line."
"Cody is an up-and-coming defenseman. He plays hard away from the puck and has good puck skills. Cody is the total package.”
-- Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves on Cody Goloubef
While he would like more offensive opportunities, Goloubef said he isn't about to sacrifice his defensive play to get them.
"I'd like to bump that up a little more," Goloubef said of his offensive totals. "A couple more scoring opportunities wouldn't hurt. We'll try and keep that going, but it's not too much on my mind. I just want to play solid and the points will come."
Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves believes Goloubef is a complete player.
"Cody is an up-and-coming defenseman," said Eaves. "He plays hard away from the puck and has good puck skills. Cody is the total package."
There wasn't a lot of pressure on Goloubef to perform last season, as he played alongside Ryan McDonagh (No. 12) and Brendan Smith (No. 27), both 2007 NHL first-round draft picks. Goloubef said he looks to them for new ideas, but still manages to play his own game.
"I just kind of play my game and if I see anything that they're doing that works, I try that out," Goloubef told the Wisconsin Badger Herald. "They're both first-round picks, so they know what they're doing."
With Ron Hainsey's departure from Columbus, Goloubef likely will be given an opportunity to fill the open role of point man on the Blue Jackets' power play at training camp.