NHL Draft: Who Will Columbus Select? (Part Two)

By Ed Francis on September 24, 2020 at 1:20 pm
The NHL Draft is set to begin October 6th.

The Columbus Blue Jackets could go either way with their first round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

If they opt for a forward, there are several names to keep an eye on who may still be available at #21, the second time in franchise history Columbus has owned the 21st pick. (In 2009, the Blue Jackets used the pick to take John Moore.)

But the argument, and a strong one, could be made that Columbus needs to replenish their defensive pipeline for the future. In part two of our names to watch for in advance of the October 6th draft, we look at some of the defenders that could be on the Jackets short list for their only pick of the first three rounds. 

William Wallinder

He's not Zdeno Chara, but William Wallinder is big: 6'4", 200lbs, and only 18 years of age. The left-handed Swede also has an emerging offensive game, and could be a staple on the power-play in time. Don't expect Zach Werenski-like ability here, but Wallinder should have a successful NHL career as a two-way defenseman.   

That said, he is not ready for the NHL yet, but Columbus would immediately have a top defensive prospect if he's the pick at #21.


To answer your first question: It's pronounced Goo-lee. 

Another big, young defenseman, Guhle is 6'3", 190lbs, and still filling out. Even with his size, Guhle is given high praise for his skating ability and smooth play. He's also a mean streak in him, and at his size, may have opponents thinking twice before getting too gritty. 

Scoring 11 goals in 64 games with the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL this year shows that he's got some offense in his game, as well. Like Wallinder, Guhle is not a player who will be on NHL ice this season, but instead someone that will be developed and groomed with potential to be a top four defenseman in the future. 


Yes, another big teenage defender. Schneider checks in at 6'2", 210lbs, and despite having shown the ability to score, projects far more of a stay-at-home defenseman than Wallinder or Guhle. 

Schneider's ability is likely to translate to someone that is frequently seen on the penalty kill, and his demeanor - highly competitive and intelligent - translates positively to this, as well.  

If Jarmo Kekalainen decides he wants a big-bodied defender to help protect the net over one with more offensive flash, Schneider - if available - is the obvious pick.