I've yet to venture into a futures market like this, but I've found some value I'd like to share. We'll be taking a team's season-long point total. This team has been relatively disappointing over the last few years. But with some trades to help completely revamp their defensive core and drafting their franchise's first potential generational center talent. If you haven't already guessed, it's the Columbus Blue Jackets.
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The Blue Jackets are full of young talent ready to develop and I think now is the time. The newest of the young core is Michigan Wolverine, Adam Fantilli. Fantilli will bring the fans of Columbus something they've never had before, a franchise center. You could argue they've had one in Pierre-Luc Dubois, but he only had a 50+ point season with the help of Artmei Panarin. Fantilli was regarded as the consensus number two overall pick all draft year but fell into the Blue Jackets lap when the Ducks passed on him. Fantilli had an impressive 30 goals and 65 points in 36 games for Michigan last season. His outstanding hockey IQ and big frame should shoot him up the center depth chart before the mid-way point of the season.
Kent Johnson and Cole Sillinger are the other young guns who are looking to take the next step this season. Kent Johnson was drafted fifth overall in 2021 after an eight-goal, 37-point season with the Michigan Wolverines. His shifty play making ability can be a lethal powerplay specialist for this Blue Jackets offence. Johnson has already proven he can put up points in this league, finishing with 16 goals and 40 points in 79 games last season. Cole Sillinger was taken seven picks after Johnson in that same 2021 draft class. Sillinger finished his draft year with 24 goals. 46 points in 31 games played. Sillinger is more known for his shot and quick release to find the back of the net. He'll need to bounce back this year after finishing with only three goals and 11 points in 63 games last season.
The Defence Core
Columbus desperately needed an overhaul on their defence after allowing the second most goals against last season, averaging 4.01 per game. Yes, this was probably a byproduct of them missing their star defense man, Zach Werenski. They wasted no time getting busy this off-season, making the first trade acquiring Damon Severson and immediately signing him to an eight-year contract extension. They next saude after a disgruntled star defenceman, Ivan Provorov. Provorov was once thought of as the team's top defencemen but quickly fell off with a similar decline in the Philadelphia Flyers.
Werenski looks to be fully healed and has been more of a leader this off-season. During training camp, he's been motivating his younger teammates to keep pushing to expand their full potential. Columbus has David Jiricek and Denton Mateychuk as the odd defencemen out. The pair of first-round defencemen from the 2022 draft look to push for a roster spot at some point this season.
Columbus Blue Jackets Season Total o72.5 (-115)
Columbus had a depressing 59 points last season, the worst in an 82-game season since the 2011-2012 season. The Blue Jackets have gone over this point total in all but one season since. With three young first-round talents making a difference on offence and their fully revamped defensive cores, the Blue Jackets should be much better than this point total.
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