The Blue Jackets made the decision to go all in this year at the risk of losing some of their best players over the summer. Whether or not it was successful can be argued either way but they made a push to clinch the last wildcard spot finishing 5th in the Metropolitan and 13th overall. They drew the Presidents Trophy winners Tampa Bay Lightning who looked completely unstoppable but the Jackets knocked them off in a clean sweep earning themselves their first ever franchise playoff series win. They fell in the next round to the Bruins but the organization showed their commitment to icing an elite product.
Additions: Gustav Nyquist
Subtractions: Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel
The Blue Jackets lost Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel this offseason but they did add Gustav Nyquist. They might look depleted but this team was in playoff contention before adding Duchene and Dzingel so they still have some really good pieces.
Seth Jones and Zach Werenski are two of the best up and coming defensemen in the league and Ryan Murray is a really solid player when he can stay healthy. This is a strong d-core that will be relied upon to step it up this season.
Goalies are the big question mark for this team. Losing Sergei Bobrovsky to free agency this summer left a gaping hole at the position and the Jackets didn’t do anything to address it. Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins have a lot to prove.
The Point Prediction:
The Blue Jackets won’t be making the playoffs this season but their fall won’t hurt as much as some might expect. We have them finishing 7th in the Metropolitan but still 21st overall in the league.
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)