Before this season ended, the Columbus Blue Jackets were ranked 13 in the NHL, and were in second wild card spot in the east. Their team went on a run start ing at the end of December that went through the beginning of February.
When their hot streak was ending, one problem they were facing was the ability to score, which obviously is a big problem in just about any sport. They had a lot of games where they were only scoring one goal, after scoring 3 or more per game during the win streak.
A majority of their scoring was coming from a select few players, like Oliver Bjorkstrand, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Zack Werenski. After that, it was a lot of younger players who were supposed to be with the teams AHL team in Cleveland all season.
Obviously, there were a lot of injuries that occurred that hurt the teams season, but when the team was fully healthy at the beginning of the season, they got off to a slow start.
One of the many players the Jackets had to call up to help out the beaten and bruised team, was Blue Jackets prospect and London Knights star, Liam Foudy, who earned his first NHL assist in the two games he played with the team this season.
Foudy is a fast, stick handling wizard, who was lighting up the OHL. He had a 28-40-68 line in just 45 games. Obviously these numbers will change when he is going against grown, NHL players in the next couple of years, but there are still a couple things Foudy will bring to the table that will help the team a lot.
In my opinion, the most important thing he brings to the table, is his speed. One thing we see from a lot of the star players in today’s NHL is speed. The ability to out skate opposing defensemen and go one on one with goalies on fast breaks is something the Jackets lost when Artemi Panarin left.
Foudy with his speed alone could improve any line that coach John Tortorella would put him on. Think about it:
LW Liam Foudy / C Pierre-Luc Dubois / RW Cam Atkinson
That line has the potential to be one of the best lines in the NHL. Which would make for an even better second line:
LW Nick Foligno / C Boone Jenner / RW Oliver Bjorkstrand
I know the old saying “There is no I in team” but this is FOR SURE a case of one guy coming in and improving everyone around him.
Just to clarify, I know I’m leaving out Alex Wennberg, and however you want to look at it, you can fit him in there as well. I’m just going off of some recent lines the jackets used before the season stopped. We all know how Tort’s likes to move his lines around all the time.
Obviously you have a third and fourth line to worry about as well, and you can move Foudy all over the place, depending on his performance.
If you’re a Blue Jackets fan and you think about the future of the team and it looking like this, you have to be very excited. This kid could be the piece of the puzzle we’ve all been waiting for.