The Jackets have been collecting some good young specs over the past few months as the organization does a sort of retool on the fly. While Kucherov is stealing the show in Columbus, there are a few upcoming specs that could join him in the next few seasons.

 

Juuso Valimaki

Valimaki has been solid in hist first year as a regular in the lineup in the NHL. 2 goals and 7 assists in 41 games while averaging 15 minutes of icetime a game is nothing to write home about, but he's coming along nicely. Should develop into a nice top 4 d-man over the next few seasons. May see some time in the Jackets lineup next season.

 

Braden Schneider

Schneider has followed up a strong WJC showing with a spectacular season thus far in the WHL. 4 goals and 17 assists in 18 games thus far, Schneider projects to be a solid two-way d-man in the NHL and should slot into a teams top 4 quite nicely. Schneider may be showing off some offensive potential that we didn't see from him in his draft year.

 

Tristen Robins

One of my personal favourites from this past draft class, Robins is a high energy guy with no real flaws in his game besides his size. Since heading back to the WHL Robins has put up 10 goals and 13 assists in 16 games. Robins likely ends up being a Gallagher type of NHLer if he makes the show.

 

Ryan O'Rourke

O'Rourke was one of the more underrated blueliners in the past draft. Most of this was due to him playing on a shitty team and by the end of the season he was exhausted and wasn't playing as well. O'Rourke has played in the AHL this year with the OHL still not starting up and has been pretty solid for a teenage d-man in the pros. So far he's put up 1 goal and 5 assists in 24 games. O'Rourke projects to be a top 4 d-man at the NHL level.

 

Lias Andersson

Andersson has played in various leagues this year with mixed results. In the NHL he has 2 goals in 13 games, in the AHL he has 5 goals and 9 assists in 13 games, and in the SHL he has put up 5 goals and 6 assists in 19 games. Andersson likely ends up as a 3rd line forward a the NHL level as he doesn't really showcase anhy high end ability.

 

Marian Studenic

Studenic has been a pleasant surprise this year. Aqcuired in the Josh Bailey deal, I didn't expect much of him, and while he still hasn't done that much, he's played in the NHL this year which was a surprise. In 4 NHL games he has 1 goal, in 19 AHL games he has 3 goals and 4 assists, and in 25 Slovak league games he put up 6 goals and 9 assists. At the NHL level he likely ends up as a 3rd line scoring forward if he gets an established role.

 

No one on this list screams superstar, but most have a good shot at making the show, this next draft will be interesting for the Jackets as they have kept their 1st round pick. Rumor is they will likely draft a forward with it since their d-prospects look pretty good at the moment.