Jarmo Kekalainen Didn't Hesitate to Praise the Young Prospects when Discussing the Future of the Columbus Blue Jackets

By Ben Jandrain on June 25, 2019 at 1:20 pm
Jarmo Kekalainen

It wasn't too crazy of a draft weekend for the Columbus Blue Jackets, who selected two players in the fourth round and one in the seventh round.

After the 2019 NHL Draft was over, Jarmo Kekalainen was interviewed and asked about free agency.  Kekalainen didn't spend much time to talking about the big-name unrestricted free agents.  Instead, Kekalainen made it evident he was excited about the young talent Columbus has.


"We have lots of good young players coming," Kekalainen said. "We're gonna make sure they get a good opportunity as well."

One of the players Kekalainen was referring to was Emil Bemstrom, a forward who might get a lot of ice time as soon as next season for the CBJ.

He's big enough, he's strong enough," Kekalainen said when mentioning Bemstrom. "He's as good of a power-play player as you can get...We were looking for a guy on the power play this year who can shoot the puck like he can."

While plenty of fans and reporters are waiting to find out who's going to be re-signed or added to the roster in free agency, Kekalainen reiterated that he's pleased with the future of the club as is.

"Those (young prospects) are the guys that we're gonna be looking into rather than just, signing somebody now that we would feel like 'oh boy we're gonna have to sign somebody now' that's not gonna be the case," Kekalainen said.  "We'll sign somebody if we believe strongly that he'll help us and be a good fit for us."

Whether or not the Blue Jackets are successful in acquiring the flashy free agents, Kekalainen made it sound as if their future will still be bright; possibly with a little extra patience required.

"You've seen how young the league is now. How guys can come into the league as 20-year olds and make an impact on the team."

"We think our prospects are that level of prospects"

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