Wednesday, August 7, 2019

31 Teams in 31 Days - Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus is the next team up.

1. Liam Foudy - London Knights
Pretty good developmental year for Foudy in his D+1 season, that saw him build off of his strong second half of his draft year. He was over the point per game mark in both the regular season and playoffs. There were definitely some minor improvements made to his consistency away from the puck, to his strength on the puck, to his shot, and to his vision with the puck. But improvements are still needed to all of these areas. I'd really like to see Foudy improve his release and the strength of his shot while in motion. He skates so well and he's so explosive, it seems like he has trouble really being able to get a ton of velocity behind his shot while in motion. If he could improve that, being able to cut to the middle or scream down the wing and really rifle one, it would make him so much more dangerous. And he still has a tendency to over handle the puck while in transition. He needs to get pucks in deeper to the offensive zone and become a better boards player who can beat teams in other ways beside just using his speed. There's still a ton of potential here because of his athleticism. And he's going to have a big year in London, I think. I could see him in the 40 goal, 90 point range this year, and if his assist total is larger than his goal scoring numbers, that would actually be a good thing. 

2. Tyler Angle - Windsor Spitfires
Was actually a little surprised to see Angle drafted this past June. Not a slight against him, but he's an undersized center who was a late 2000 born who failed to hit the point per game mark this past year. No doubt, he is a tireless worker. Angle constantly keeps his feet moving in the offensive end and is a real gamer in the sense that he can play through traffic and outwork defenders to create scoring chances for both he and his linemates. But I don't see Angle as being a fantastic skater. He's not a poor skater, but I think he lacks the explosiveness that you want to see from a smaller center. I also think he profiles more as a winger who can attack the zone and work as a pound hound, rather than an uptempo, possession driving center. As a late 2000, Angle could spend two more years, including his OA year, in the OHL before Columbus has to make a call on signing him. This is a good thing and it's something that I think Columbus will need to do in order to truly see what they have in Angle. The Spitfires should be better this upcoming year and I would expect Angle to be a point per game player.

*Eric Hjorth - Sarnia Sting
After signing with the Sting, very excited to see what Hjorth can do after talking to my European scouting contacts (you can read what they had to say in my import draft review). This is a big defender with offensive skill. In Sarnia, he will get all the ice time he can handle and should be a big part of their top powerplay unit with his big point shot. I think a 12 goal, 25ish assist season are very real expectations, with a chance at besting those.

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