It's a good day for some good news.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Blue Jackets announced that they signed Samuel Knazko to a three-year, entry-level contract. The 18-year-old defenseman hails from Slovakia, and was the Blue Jackets' third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft (78th overall).
Armed with excellent hands, a nice shot, and good vision, Knazko has the potential to be a solid offensive defenseman for the Blue Jackets. The left-handed defenseman tallied 5-10-15 in 23 games with TPS Jr. in Finland's junior league, and he also captained the Slovakian team at the 2021 World Juniors.
At 6'0" and 190 pounds, he's already got some decent size, but he's not expected to come in and make the Blue Jackets roster. However, the odds are high that he will make his debut sooner rather than later, due to the relative lack of defensive depth that the Blue Jackets are now facing. If Seth Jones is dealt before the season, it'll be even thinner.
Per EliteProspects' 2020 NHL Draft Guide, "Knazko's passing skills are refined for a defenceman. He can find players in the seam and on the breakout with great accuracy. He's comfortable with making plays from his backhand and makes sharp passes with good power behind them. His mobility stood out; he has the skating ability to be effective defending against the rush and during long cycles."
Sounds like a recipe for success.