Last Season – Another disaster in Columbus as the Blue Jackets finished dead last in the league with 65 points. They even lost the draft lottery to add insult to injury.
Saying Goodbye – Rick Nash, Aaron Johnson, Kristian Huselius, Brett Lebda, Radek Martinek, Curtis Sanford, Marc Methot
Saying Hello – Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon, Sergei Bobrovsky, Adrian Aucoin, Nick Foligno
Ready to Step In – Tim Erixon is a top level prospect already in his 3rd NHL organization before playing an NHL game. He has played well in Springfield and should be on the opening night roster for the Blue Jackets
Look For A Bounce-back Season From - James Wisniewski signed a monster contract before last season and failed to deliver. He was supposed to bring offence from the blue line and quarterback the power play. Injuries and suspensions held him to just 48 games, in which he put up a pretty respectable 27 points. He needs to stay on the ice for the Jackets.
Hardware Hopefuls – Erixon, Calder
Upside – There is only one way to go for the Jackets and that is up.
Downside – Many questions remain after trading away the best player in franchise history. Goaltending is still a weak spot, and most of the good prospects (Boone Jenner, Ryan Murray for example) are a year or two away.
2013 Prognosis – The Blue Jackets are in one of the toughest divisions in hockey, and with the format of the schedule, they are in tough to climb out of the basement. They should be in line for Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon or Jonathan Drouin at the draft.