Wednesday, August 9, 2017

31 Teams in 31 Days - Columbus Blue Jackets

Just one OHL prospect for the Jackets again this year, and he was signed before he played in the league. The Jackets haven't drafted a player out of the OHL the last three years (although they have been active in the FA market).

1. Kole Sherwood - Flint Firebirds
A breakout season for Sherwood following a trade to Flint from London. Big surprise, a talented player flourished with more ice time! Sherwood has always possessed a ton of talent. Great speed. Ability to handle the puck and make creative plays. A powerful shot. The potential to play a power game. But he's lacked the strength to really make consistent use of his skill set. Let me tell you, it's obvious Sherwood put in the work this offseason to get bigger. In the offensive zone, this guy was tough to stop. His ability to control the puck and work the cycle was one of the best in the OHL (IMO). With his skating ability and that added strength, defenders had a really tough time separating him from the puck, especially behind the net. As such, he was able to extend a lot of plays and his playmaking ability really became elevated. Also, his ability to utilize his shot and his confidence in it really increased. Loves flying down the wing and rifling a shot through a defender, or coming off the wall and using his wrister. This kid has really become a complete player. Moving forward, I'd expect him to turn pro this coming season, even though the Jackets could return Sherwood for his OA year. The one thing that I'm still not sure about is his overall goal scoring potential. Not sure how well he reads the play in the offensive end without the puck and whether he can consistently get himself in good scoring position in the pros. But, I'm very curious to see how he does next year. I look at the mild success that Justin Scott had this year as a rookie and IMO Sherwood is a better player leaving the OHL and a better prospect than Scott was. So I'm going to say Sherwood is a 15/15 guy or better as a rookie.

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