The party sure was fun, but then came the sobering reality of the waiter bearing a credit card bill.
The Blue Jackets paid that bill this past weekend, where they entered the NHL Draft with just two selections (only one of which was theirs, to begin with), before trading down to recoup an extra pick. In the end, the club had three picks, numbers 104, 114, and 212.
But management insists that despite the expensive bill (I promise you the analogy is almost over), there are sufficient funds going forward. The club became the first team to select fewer than four players since the draft took on its current format after the 1979-80 season (the Dallas Stars and the Washington Capitals had four this year).
The Blue Jackets two Directors of Amateur Scouting, Ville Siren and Chris Morehouse, spoke glowingly about the three 2019 draft picks.
Eric Hjorth | 4th Round (104), D, 6'3", 192 lbs., SWE, Linköping HC J18
The selection of Hjorth was interesting given his draft-eligible season, which in a word was: injured. He played just 10 games this season and six of those were in the playoffs. His injury-riddled season could have prevented him from a more favorable draft result, and the Blue Jackets could be the beneficiaries of diligent pre-draft year scouting trips.
A 6'3" defensemen who can skate, he's an interesting prospect to watch going forward, but it could be a while before the Blue Jackets bring him to North America.
Dmitri Voronkov | 4th Round (114), LW, 6'4", 190 lbs., Bars Kazan, VHL
Voronkov, who captained Russia at the Worlds U19 Tournament, has already played three games in the KHL, but played predominantly in the VHL, Russia's AHL, in 2018-19. A big-framed winger with skill, Voronkov was eligible for last season's draft but was not selected, and will need some seasoning playing in Russia's professional circuit. Still, he likely has the highest ceiling of the club's three picks. Unfortunately, he is not expected to attend the Blue Jackets development camp.
The Athletic's Corey Pronman had him ranked 45th on his overall draft board and wrote: "He gets to the net, has an edge in his game and isn’t afraid to engage in the physical play. I see him as a player on a steep upward trajectory.
CBJ picks Dmitri Voronkov. pic.twitter.com/stW3Tp20Ll— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) June 22, 2019
Tyler Angle | 7th Round (212), C, 5'10", 167 lbs., Windsor Spitfires, OHL
Angle, the club's last selection, is a skilled but undersized forward from the OHL. He didn't have great numbers (20-24-44 in 58 games) but scouts rave about his battle-level. Morehouse, in describing Angle, said words like "compete", "willingness", "battle", and "engage". A lazy comparison would be Trey Fix-Wolansky, though he lacks the higher-end skill and physicality that Fix-Wolansky displayed in his draft year. The Blue Jackets are hoping he can make a big step in his draft-plus-one year, his fourth year in the OHL.
Angle is expected to be at the club's Development Camp, starting Tuesday 6/25. Stay tuned for a breakdown on the camp roster when it's released by the team.