Fantasy: 5 players to target on the Columbus Blue Jackets

Jerome Miron / USA TODAY Sports

With your fantasy draft just around the corner, theScore's Ian McLaren and Darren Kritzer take a look at 5 players you should consider drafting this season.

Top Targets

Ryan Johansen

The 22-year-old broke out in a big way this past season, recording 33 goals, 30 assists, 237 shots and the first plus rating of his young career (plus-3) while appearing in all 82 games for the Blue Jackets.

Johansen is a bona fide number one center in the making, and figures to be the spearhead of Columbus' offensive attack for years to come (if the two sides can ever agree on a new contract, that is).

According to theScore's Forward Composite Rankings, Johansen ranks 68th among eligible NHL players; if he participates in a full training camp and builds on his success from last season, he'll be a steal with a mid-round pick.

Sergei Bobrovsky

Bobrovsky followed up his Vezina Trophy worthy 2013 season with 32 wins, five shutouts and a save percentage of .923. 

The Blue Jackets were a playoff team in 2014, and have the benefit of playing in a pretty weak Metropolitan Division. As a result, Bobrovsky is primed to return to the ranks of the NHL's top five fantasy goaltenders, and should be ranked higher on draft day than the likes of Jonathan Quick, Semyon Varlamov and Marc-Andre Fleury.

Scott Hartnell

A motivated hockey player brings with him the potential to be an effective fantasy asset, and Hartnell will certainly be looking to show his old bosses in Philadelphia that the Flyers erred in trading him to a divisional foe.

Hartnell is a durable forward, missing only 23 games in seven seasons with the Flyers, averaging 25 goals and 28 assists a year during that time (minus the lockout and injury shortened 2013 season). 

Likely to draw a first-line, left-wing assignment (with plenty of power play time), 25-30 goals, 50-55 assists and 100+ penalty minutes are all well within reach. 

Proceed With Caution

Nathan Horton

Horton, 29, averaged 26.5 goals per 82 games played over the course of his first 10 years in the league, but was limited to only 36 games for Columbus last season due to various injury issues. 

While he's expected to be 100 percent by training camp, Horton has missed an average of 20 games per season since the start of the 2009-10 campaign. Health is a skill that, recently, Horton hasn't possessed, and it makes him a serious risk to land on injured reserve at some point this season.

Horton recorded five goals and 14 assists in those 36 contest with Columbus, and ranked fourth among all Blue Jackets with an 52.2 even strength Corsi For percentage. If he's healthy and if he clicks on a line with his still relatively new teammates, fantasy managers could find good value here. 

Don't expect a full 82 games out of him.

Take A Flier On

Boone Jenner

Jenner registered 16 goals, 13 assists, 45 penalty minutes and 127 shots while averaging 14 minutes of ice time in 72 games as a rookie. He also boasted a plus-six rating, seven power play points and five game-winning goals.

His minutes went up in the playoffs (17:15 over six games), and he responded with three goals and two assists (with four points coming on the man advantage), albeit with an inflated shooting percentage. 

The aforementioned Horton said Jenner has the look of a future superstar, and his rise in fantasy circles could begin as soon as this year if given an expanded role with the Blue Jackets.

Comments
Fantasy: 5 players to target on the Columbus Blue Jackets
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox