Within the 2021 NHL Draft, the Blue Jackets chosen two of the 12 greatest strikers and chosen two forwards, Kent Johnson and Cole Sillinger, who had been instantly thought-about the cornerstone of the offensive lineup for the longer term.
A yr later, Common Supervisor Jarmo Kekalainen discovered himself in roughly the identical place. The Jackets entered the primary spherical of the draft Thursday night time at Montreal’s Bell Middle with sixth and twelfth locations general, and are as soon as once more making ready to choose two top-tier gamers within the first spherical who will make a huge effect on the group.
With their first decide, the sixth decide general, Jackett recruited David Jerichek, a defender from the HC Plzen Czech staff Extraliga.
Jerichek, who has additionally represented the Czech Republic at worldwide under-20 and males’s degree this yr, is without doubt one of the greatest defenders on this recruiting class. Proper-handers are a extremely sought-after commodity within the NHL, and Jiricek provides the wanted quantity along with his fingers at 6-3 and round 190 lbs. He scored 5 targets and made six assists in 29 video games this season.
Jiricek is already a powerful defender, who can also be prepared to have interaction within the offensive transition, whether or not he’s carrying the puck himself or making a penetrating go, and he has a cannon from successful within the assault space. A knee damage on the U-20 World Championships in late December prevented him from taking part in a full season, however he returned to the Males’s World Championships in Could and didn’t seem to have any lingering points from the damage.
Jiricek has been reluctant to check his recreation to any of the present NHL gamers.
“No person,” he mentioned when requested who would design his recreation subsequent. “I’ll play like David Jiricek within the NHL.”
Earlier than leaving the stage, Jiricek kissed the emblem on his new shirt, which he mentioned was one thing he does each time he places on a shirt for the primary time.
“I believe it’s kind of ritualistic,” Jerichek mentioned.
The highest 5 picks had been striker Juraj Slafkovsky to the Montreal Canadiens, defender Simon Nemec to the New Jersey Devils, striker Logan Cooley to the Arizona Coyotes, striker Shane Wright to the Seattle Kraken and striker Cutter Gauthier to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Blue Jackets decide Denton Mateychuk twelfth general within the 2022 NHL Draft
After choosing Jeresick’s protection in sixth, Columbus doubled in heart protection with Moss Joe Warriors protection Denton Matichuk in twelfth.
A high-driven attacking defensive man, Matichuk was ranked 14th on the NHL Central Scouting listing of North American skaters previous to enlistment. He scored 13 targets and picked up 51 assists for a complete of 64 factors in 65 common season video games at Moss Joe this season, including 10 factors in 10 playoffs.
Defensemen within the fashionable NHL have extra attacking freedom than ever earlier than, and Mateychuk is designed to take full benefit of that. He by no means stops transferring when on the ice, continuously lively offensively and trying to create performs whereas additionally having a powerful skate base to get better defensively when play strikes the opposite approach. He isn’t tall, at 5-11, however he is burly at 194 kilos and has a little bit of bodily energy in his recreation.
Matichuk mentioned he likes to mannequin his recreation after Bruins defender Charlie McAvoy.
“Charlie McAvoy is that man for me,” mentioned Matichuk. “I actually like his recreation. He performs on the taking part in energy of Boston, he runs the highest. He’s a penalty kick killer. He actually is a closed d-zone man, as a lot as he’s good at attacking. That’s the sort of primary participant you need to be.”
Matichuk is a powerful skater, and this means seems to have a genetic part from his mom, Kela.
“She’s a snowboarder and teaches determine skating,” Matychuk mentioned. “My dad used to take me to the rink quite a bit to do with him what I wished, whether or not it was the edges or my fingers or no matter. He all the time took me to the rink and helped me.”
Matichuk and Jerichek shall be on the ice on the Jackets odds growth camp, which begins Monday.