Getting To Know The Blue Jackets' 2018 Development Camp Roster

By Dan Dukart on June 25, 2018 at 4:56 pm

The Blue Jackets annual development camp is underway, with 35 players from all around the world coming to Columbus to participate. 

Most of the big name prospects in the club's system will be there, with notable exceptions being last year's first pick (second round) Alexandre Texier, and this year's second round pick, Kirill Marchenko.

With so many new names and faces, here's a quick primer on each of the 35 players:


Liam Foudy, #19

Foudy, the club's top pick in last week's draft, is a genuine speedster. He had a slow start to his season with the London Knights of the OHL, but really came on in the second half of the season. He's considered one of the club's top prospects.

Jonathan Davidsson, #32

Davidsson, who was drafted a year ago as an over-ager, had a monster year for Djurgårdens of the SHL, the top pro league in Sweden. He may be the most polished of the forward prospects at camp, and GM Jarmo Kekalainen has mentioned his name as a player to watch to make the big team this season.

Maxime Fortier, #36

Fortier went undrafted for years before the Blue Jackets signed him as a free agent. The captain of the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL, Fortier posted 75 points in 61 games this past season. He'll likely play in the AHL this fall, but also may have a higher ceiling than that.

Vitaly Abramov, #43

Abramov is arguably the crown jewel of the organization's prospect pool. He's completely torched the QMJHL the past two seasons, posting 104 points in back-to-back years and appears poised to make the jump. He's injured and won't skate this week, but he'll be fighting to make the Blue Jackets this year.

Kale Howarth, #47

After a successful career in the BCHL, Howarth will be an incoming freshman at the University of Connecticut this fall. He's a big boy, listed at 6-foot-5 and 207 lbs. and hails from western Canada. It'll be interesting to see what type of player he develops into at the NCAA ranks.

Eric Robinson, #50

Robinson was signed late during last season after his season at Princeton came to an end. A real burner, he's been compared to a left-handed Josh Anderson. Tortorella came away impressed with Robinson's acumen, and he played in the regular season finale against the Nashville Predators. He's a long-shot to make the Blue Jackets, but could be a potential call up from the AHL.  

Emil Bemström, #52

Bemstrom, who was drafted a year ago in the fourth round. He just turned 19, but has been playing against men in Sweden and has some higher-end tools. I liked his game from last year's development camp and am excited to see what strides he's taken. 

Marcus Karlberg, #62

Another Swede, Karlberg was a bit of an off-the-radar pick this past week. He's listed at just 5-foot-8 and 165 lbs., but posted 47 points in 39 games in Sweden's top junior circuit. It'll be interesting to see him competing against bigger, older prospects at camp this week.

Trey Fix-Wolansky, #64

Fix-Wolansky was taken in the seventh round at last week's draft. He's another over-ager, meaning he was passed up by all team's during his first year of draft eligibility. He led his Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) with 89 points in 71 games. 

Billy Moskal, #66

The first free agent invite of the list, Moskal was a rookie for the London Knights this past year. That's notable, because with the Blue Jackets drafting Foudy in the first round (and with old ties like Basil and Phil McRae), the club has scouted London a ton this year. Moskal had just 7-19-26 in 66 games, but London is notorious for playing their older, more veteran skaters. Interested to watch Moskal.

Samuel Asselin, #73

Asslein, another invite, was the captain of his Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) team before being traded to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, who ended up winning the QMJHL and the Memorial Cup. 

Christian O'Neill, #76

Another invite, O'Neill had a solid rookie year with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL. He'll be a freshman at Princeton this season.

Justin Richards, #79

The first of four Ohio AAA Blue Jackets alumni that will be attending Columbus's development camp, Richards is also a free agent invite. If his name sounds familiar, it should; his dad is Todd Richards, the former Blue Jackets head coach. Richards won a national championship with the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, posting 0-9-9 as a freshman.

Greg Printz, #83

Printz, another invite, just wrapped up his freshman season at Providence. With the Blue Jackets scouting Eric Robinson, it makes sense that they saw another kid they liked, which should explain his appearance at camp. The 20-year old had 4-6-10 in his freshman campaign.

Sean Dhooghe, #84

The game of hockey has evolved, folks. Dhooghe, another invite, is listed on the camp roster at 5-foot-3 and 139 lbs. He played for the University of Wisconsin, and as a freshman had a nice season, posting 6-10-16 in 37 games. Despite his size, I liked what I saw of him when his Badgers visited Ohio State.

Andrew Bruder, #85

Bruder, another invite, is the youngest player at camp as he'll turn 18 in August. He just finished his rookie season with Niagara of the OHL, where he notched 11 points in 52 games.

Carson Meyer, #86

Another AAA Blue Jacket alumni, Meyer's story is well documented. He's officially transferring to Ohio State after a, well, rough, season at Miami. This summer we'll know if he'll need to sit out a year or can play right away.

Kole Sherwood, #88

The third of the AAA Blue Jacket alums, Sherwood had a slow start to his over-ager year with Kitchener of the OHL, but really turned it on late. He finished with 30-30-60 in 57 games, but then took it to another level in the OHL playoffs, rattling off 14-12-26 in 19 games as his Rangers lost to the Hamilton Bulldogs in the finals. He'll almost certainly be in AHL Cleveland this year.

Johnny Walker, #91

Insert name joke here. Walker, another invite, led his Arizona State team in goals this year with 17 in 32 games as a freshman. Could be a diamond in the rough.

Kevin Fitzgerald, #92

Fitzgerald, also an invite, posted 5-14-19 in 38 games as a freshman at St. Cloud State. 


Tim Berni, #2

Berni, who Kekalainen described as "a little bit of a sleeper", was the Blue Jackets sixth round pick in last week's draft. He's a mobile, puck-mover type who is likely a bit of a project. It's telling, though, that Columbus traded to get this pick to take this kid. Could he be Nutivaara 2.0?

Justin Wade, #5

The first of the free agent invitees among defensemen, Wade just wrapped up four years at Notre Dame, where he's been a steady player. Not much of a point producer, and it'll be interesting to see if he's an ECHL guy or an AHL guy in the coming season. He was at camp last year, too.

Tim Theocharidis, #6

Theocharidis, an invite, will be an incoming freshman at Bowling Green this fall. He played three seasons in the CCHL with the Carleton Place Canadians. 

Andrew Peeke, #68

Arguably the top defensive prospect in the organization, Peeke just wrapped up his sophomore campaign at Notre Dame. He'll stay in school at least one more year before determining his future, so this is a big year for him. The former second round pick is a big, sturdy defenseman who looks the part.

Robbie Stucker, #78

Stucker was taken by Columbus in the seventh round a year ago, and will be a freshman at the University of Minnesota this fall. Keep an eye on him in the future.

Jack Ahcan, #89

Ahcan, another invite, wrapped up a second consecutive productive year as a sophomore at St. Cloud State, posting 3-20-23 in 40 games for the Huskies. He played in the World Junior Championships in 2016-17 and I was impressed. 

Georgi Dedov, #93

Dedov, an invite, is an interesting case. In 2017-18, he played in the MHL, Russia's top junior circuit, before leaving to play for the Syracuse Jr. Stars of the NCDC, a good but not elite junior league in the U.S. It'll be interesting to see how he fits in with players with higher pedigrees.

Sam Dunn, #94

Dunn, another invite, wrapped up a solid rookie season with the Quebec Ramparts of the QMJHL. May be a late bloomer type.

Andrew Gunlock, #97

Gunlock, the last of the AAA Blue Jackets alumni, is also a free agent invite. He's played the past two seasons in Michigan at Cranbrook-Kingswood Upper School. Like Dedov, I'm curious to see how he does against players who've played major junior or years in the NCAA.

Zach Giuttari, #98

Giuttari, another invite, just wrapped up his sophomore season at Brown University. After a 0-3-3 freshman campaign, he tallied 5-11-16 in 31 games this past season. 



Danlil Tarasov, #30

Tarasov is an interesting case. Columbus drafted him despite an injury that caused him to miss his entire season. He responded in a big way, posting a .928 save percentage and a 1.85 GAA for Tolpar Ufa of the MHL, Russia's top junior league. Could be a real find.

Veini Vehviläinen, #31

Speaking of real finds, Vehviläinen could be that as well. Kekalainen was thrilled to take the top goalie in the Liiga, Finland's top professional league, in the 6th round. He's undersized by today's standards, which is about the only chink I can find in his armor.

Peter Thome, #41

Thome split time as a freshman at North Dakota with Cam Johnson, but as a sophomore, the net should be his. Excited to see where he takes his game over the next few years.

Ivan Kulbakov, #90

Kulbakov took about as unique a path as I can remember for any prospect. He's signed to an AHL deal after a spectacular season with Youngstown (USHL). Last year he was thrust into action at the AHL level, and things didn't go well. Too early to write him off, but he needs a big bounce-back this year.

Sean Romeo, #95

If the name is familiar, it's because Romeo burst onto the scene last year in his first year with Ohio State. As a junior, he was Second Team All-B1G goalie and was named NCAA Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player. 

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