In recent years the Columbus Blue Jackets have been known around the NHL for having a very good defense. That is because both General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen and the rest of the Blue Jackets front office believed and still do that defense is the key to playing good hockey and contending for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Even during a re-(call it what you will) the focus is once again on the blue line.
The Columbus Blue Jackets defense is going to be very young heading into training camp and the 2021-22 NHL season. In fact the oldest member of the blue line is Vladislav Gavrikov at just 25 years old. Yet there is some talented young players who will be counted on to continue to develop at the NHL level.
The Columbus Blue Jackets penalty kill (PK) has been very good in recent years. The organization now needs to sift through and find line combo’s to try to get to that same level. It goes without saying Zach Werenski and the aforementioned Gavrikov will be out there during the PK. The team needs to then choose from Andrew Peeke, Dean Kukan, Adam Boqvist, Jake Bean and a few others.
The Blue Jackets defenders must keep it simple and not do too much. That is something they exceled in, in the past. Very often young players try to do too much. The best option for the younger players to to play according to the situation.
While it is still anyone’s guess as to line pairings it seems as of this moment that former Blue Jackets first round draft pick Gabriel Carlsson will finally get a longer look. He had fallen out of favor with the previous coaching staff.
With a young blue line it is important to understand they will look awful at times. Yet there will be times when they flash what they can be. This is what a re- whatever looks like.
What fans should focus on in my opinion is if both Andrew Peeke and Gabriel Carlsson find footing and fit into the future Columbus Blue Jackets defensive plans.