With the NHL Draft all taking place during the course of one afternoon, it took some time for the experts’ subsequent draft grades to be posted.
But now the grades are in!
How did the Blue Jackets fare?
Sports Illustrated had them as one of two teams in the Eastern Conference to score “top marks.”
The Jackets [added] a trio of forwards who could upgrade their scoring punch. Alexander Wennberg (14), Kerby Rychel(19) and Marko Dano (27) all have touch, but each brings a different dimension that should elevate an offense that ranked 25th this past season. A+
SI also says the Jackets scored a dark-horse candidate to be an impact player in the National Hockey League.
The Sporting News thought the Jackets did a solid, if not spectacular job.
Would have been nice to see one of the three first-round picks used on a defenseman, but no complaints about the additions of Alexander Wennberg, Kerby Rychel, and Marko Dano. B+
The Hockey News also went with a winners/losers format, and placed Columbus squarely in the winners column.
Rychel and Dano are physical players who fit the blue collar mould in Columbus, while Wennberg excels at putting himself in scoring positions and burying his chances.
ESPN (subscription) said Columbus has “the makings of a very nice class.” Not surprisingly, they gave the Jackets an A.
And TSN provides a brief scouting report on every first-round prospect, including this on Wennberg:
A very, very good player…He makes the right play a lot of the time.
(Note: All articles are excerpted. I’d encourage you to click-through on the links for more thorough analysis of the Blue Jackets’ selections.)