Ranking All Columbus Blue Jackets First-Round Draft Picks

By Chris Pennington on March 25, 2020 at 2:29 pm
Rick Nash spent nine of his 15 NHL seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets after being the first overall draft pick from the team in 2002.

Nothing like a trip down memory lane in a time of quarantine.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have a first-round draft pick this upcoming offseason after not having one in the summer of 2019, and this has put us in the mood to revisit all of the other choices the club has made in its history.

Some were great, some were OK, some were...miserable.

These rankings will be based on the specific players' time with the Blue Jackets, it should be noted, as a few had more successful careers with other clubs.


Liam Foudy (2018 draft, No. 18 pick)

This is by default. Foudy has played two games with the Blue Jackets, and though he has tallied a point and looked very solid in both outings, we just can't justify pointing him any higher yet...even though we all can see what's coming next.


Alexandre Picard (2004 draft, No. 8 pick)

This is just so bad. Picard played five seasons with the Blue Jackets, 67 games in total, and scored zero goals in the process. We should block this out of our memory.


Nikita Filatov (2008 draft, No. 6 pick)

Scoring a hat trick in his sixth game gave high hopes for Filatov, but that would end up being half of the total goals he would score in his time in Columbus. After 44 games in four seasons, he was out.


John Moore (2009 draft, No. 21 pick)

Moore played 69 games with the Blue Jackets before being dealt and has had a mildly successful career for a few other teams. His seven points in his time in Columbus keeps his ranking low.


Kerby Rychel (2013 draft, No. 19 pick)

Rychel was drafted during the start of a rebuilding era for the Blue Jackets, who had missed the playoffs for four-straight seasons after their first postseason appearance in 2009. Rychel played 43 games for the Blue Jackets, totaling 14 points in the process.


Gabriel Carlsson (2015 draft, No. 29 pick)

Carlsson entered a dog fight of a Columbus Blue Jackets blue line and hasn't been able to crack the top-six consistently in his time with the club. Three points in 23 games have limited his time with the big boys.


Gilbert Brule (2005 draft, No. 6 pick)

Just a classic piece of Blue Jackets history right here. Brule was an early Blue Jackets centerman, and was a third-fourth liner for a few seasons, tallying 32 total points before being shipped off.


Marko Dano (2013 draft, No. 27 pick)

Dano has been around the block a few times and is back in Columbus, and his successful rookie campaign with the club boosts his ranking a fair amount (8-13-21, 35 games played). However, those were the final points he would score for the team following a trade the next campaign, and none tallied this year.


Sonny Milano (2014 draft, No. 16 pick)

Oh, Sonny. You were a flash in a pan in your time here. His 42 points in 116 games with the Blue Jackets is decent, but his play in his own zone is likely what got him the boot.


Pascal Leclaire (2001 draft, No. 8 pick)

This is where the waterworks start. Following the departure of Ron Tugnutt, Leclaire become the, er, franchise goaltender for the Blue Jackets until the Steve Mason era. His .907 save percentage and ten shutouts in 125 games played with the team ain't too bad.


Jakub Voracek (2007 draft, No. 7 pick)

Letting Voracek go is one of the more disappointing moves the club has made, who has had an excellent career with the Philadelphia Flyers. Still, his 134 points in 241 games with the Blue Jackets make him one of the more valuable members during the team's first playoff run.


Derrick Brassard (2006 draft, No. 6 pick)

Brassard had five-plus seasons with the Blue Jackets and is one of the more valuable centermen in team history. His 111 assists in 309 games are one of the better paces of playmaking for the club, and he did this all in a horrible era for the team.


Alexander Wennberg (2013 draft, No. 14 pick)

A roller-coaster of a career with the Blue Jackets gives Wennberg a surprisingly favorable rank here. 201 points through 415 games have Wennberg operating at an every-other-game point basis, and he's been a needed second / third-line center in an era where the Blue Jackets have had no centerman depth. Also, his 60-point season in 2017 was the surge the club needed to get back to the playoffs. That needs to count for something, right?


Nikolai Zherdev (2003 draft, No. 4 pick)

What could have been with this guy? Zherdev was one of the more electrifying players to ever dress for the Blue Jackets, but the man just couldn't buy into the system. In four seasons with the team, Zherdev put up 181 points in 283 games, including 76 goals. 


Rostislav Klesla (2000 draft, No. 4 pick)

Klesla breaks the top-six for his long-standing career with the team, even with being a bottom-six defenseman for his entire career, even after being a top-four pick. He played with the Blue Jackets for nearly ten seasons and had 133 points along the way.


Ryan Murray (2012 draft, No. 2 pick)

Before we get flooded with the "glass bones" comments, Murray has proved himself to be one of the more valuable Blue Jackets defensemen in club history (yes, when healthy). His 110 points in 347 games put him amongst the top blueliners statistically for the team since their birth. My opinion alone - his playmaking might be the best of any Blue Jackets defender we've seen.


Ryan Johansen (2010 draft, No. 4 pick)

This guy was good. He was really good. Though his career has taken a bit of a dip in Nashville, Johansen was an elite center for the Blue Jackets when they had no good centers at all. His 71-point season in 2014-2015 made him an all-star, and he was one of the better playmaking forwards the club has acquired in his time in Columbus.


Pierre-Luc Dubois (2016 draft, No. 3 pick)

Dubois is the fastest Blue Jacket ever to 100 points and is looking better every year with the club. He is a dynamic offensive talent, with the ability to use his huge body to torment opponents in the offensive zone and skill to pick his shots. He can be one of the greats for this team shall he continue on the path he's started on.


Zach Werenski (2015 draft, No. 8 pick)

Werenski is an all-star, the Blue Jacket single-season goal record holder for a defenseman, and currently leads all defensemen in the league in scoring. At just 22 years of age, he's on pace to potentially hit 50 points on the season, even after missing seven games to injury. His 169 points through 300 games, as a defenseman, is absolutely wild. 


Rick Nash (2002 draft, No. 1 pick)

There should be no debate here. Nash holds nearly every record for total statistics in Columbus Blue Jackets history, and his nine seasons playing for the team put them on the map. His 547 points through 674 games are unprecedented amongst his other internal competitors. Nash is one of the only Blue Jacket that deserves to have his jersey in the rafters one day, along with potentially Sergei Bobrovsky.

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