The Columbus Dilemma

Dobber Sports




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One of the most confusing and frustrating NHL teams in the minds of fantasy owners is the Columbus Blue Jackets. Confusing, because they have a pile of talent in the system and you aren’t exactly certain how things will shake out for them. Frustrating because a defensive system, as well as historically questionable treatment of the young guns.

Not to say the treatment is right or wrong. But from a fantasy standpoint, it is frustrating and confusing. 


The biggest reason fantasy owners temper their expectations on some of the promising youngsters is what happened to Gilbert Brule. Here is a sixth overall pick in an NHL draft, coming off impressive junior numbers and an equally impressive cup of coffee in the NHL as an 18 year old (four points in seven games). He made the team as a 19 year old, but saw such few minutes that he posted just 19 points. The following year, it was less ice time and even few points (nine).

Then there is Rick Nash. He is an NHL star by many standards and a superstar by some. He is the heart and soul of this Columbus team and after seeing him on the world stage, you can only come away believing that he has that rare ability to top 95 points some day.

So why is his career high 69?

By the end of this season, Nash should sit at around 77 points. So after six NHL seasons, he will still be searching for that first 80-point campaign. Would he have already reached that plateau on the Kings? The Coyotes? The Senators? You could name all of the other 29 NHL teams and wonder how many more (or fewer) points he could be tallying in a single campaign.

Fantasy owners are hopeful, but they are not 100 percent secure in the young Blue Jackets. Nikita Filatov, Derick Brassard and Jakub Voracek are the Big 3 prospects. All three have the potential to at least flirt with 90 points. Filatov could probably give 100 a healthy run. But on this team? Within the next five years?

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The good news for Voracek owners is that he has nearly twice the points that Brule ha