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Five Years Later - The CMB 2007 Draft Written by habsfan93 - August 2nd, 2012

With the 2012 draft coming to a close last week, all the GMs in the CMHL have fresh prospects in their eyes. But only some of them will pan out, and only a few will become stars. Every year we go through this ritual, and hope we are the lucky few.

They say you have to wait 5 years before you can analyze a draft. So while I can't predict 2017, I can reflect on 2007 (the summer after Season 3).

So let's look at my own draft - who was a boom and who was a bust?

Having lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Devils, I was left with the 29th overall slot in each round. In a draft day deal, I traded my first round pick to Pittsburgh along with a mid-2nd rounder to move down 8 spots (and into the early 2nd round) and pick up a veteran defender in Mike Van Ryn. Pittsburgh wound up selecting Oscar Moller and Nick Spaling with the two picks I sent them. After failing to succeed in the NHL, Moller has returned to Sweden, while Spaling has found a role as a 3rd line player in the NHL.

In the end, the trade wound up being a good one. With the pick I acquired from Pittsburgh, I went for the homer pick and selected PK Subban. Subban is without question the best player to come out of the 2nd round that year, and quite likely one of the better players to come out of the entire draft that year. Subban finally got a crack at the Columbus lineup in Season 8, but was sent to Phoenix before the end of the season.
Verdict: BOOM!

In the second half of the 2nd round, Columbus was not so successful. We selected a Swedish goalie named Joel Gistedt who played a total of 1 AHL game and 20 ECHL games before returning to Europe where he's currently a goalie in the 2nd rank Swedish league. He is no longer a member of Blue Jackets organization.
Verdict: BUST!

Columbus had two more picks in the third round. With the first pick of the third round, Columbus selected forward Olivier Fortier. Fortier has battled injuries in his career since being drafted, yet has managed to establish himself as a checking forward at the AHL level. His NHL potential is limited if not nonexistent. The Jackets didn't sign Fortier after his prospect eligibility expired, but saw enough to take a chance on him again, and redrafted him in the 6th round of 2010. He continues to occupy a place on our prospect list.
Verdict: Bust with a very slim hope he becomes a semi-decent injury callup.


With the second last pick of the third round, Columbus drafted unsigned 2005 draftee Mark Fraser. Fraser has established himself as a stay-at-home, 6th defenseman at the pro level or AHL top blueliner. He played the entire Season 7 at the pro level for Columbus scoring 17 points in 76 games, but did not crack the Season 8 lineup. He continues to occupy a leading role on MODO's roster, where he is expected to start Season 9.
Verdict: Solid ICHF/Occasional CMHL defenceman.

In the middle of the 4th round, Columbus drafted a big French Canadian center in Mathieu Aubin. Aubin has achieved great success at the ECHL level, but has not been able to translate that to the AHL level, though he continues to be given opportunities. He is no longer in the Blue Jackets organization.
Verdict: BUST!

Columbus didn't have a 5th round pick, having traded it to Dallas in a deal to pick up Christoph Schubert. With their 6th round pick, Columbus took a flyer on another unsigned 2005 draftee, Nathan Gerbe. At the time, Gerbe was an established AHL player, and the hope was that he would be given a chance in the NHL relatively quickly - which turned out to be exactly the case. The Jackets signed Gerbe without hesitation. He led the club's farm team in Season 7, earning a spot on the ICHF All-Star team. Gerbe earned a spot on Columbus' roster going into Season 8, but failed to produce any points in 16 games, leading to his demotion back to the ICHF. With Columbus tight against the salary cap, it is expected that Gerbe will once again be given a chance to play for the Blue Jackets in Season 9.
Verdict: Potentially solid 3rd line CMHL player, but has yet to realize that potential.

The Jackets had two picks in the 7th and final round of the 2007 draft, and they used both picks, again, on unsigned 2005 draftees. First, they selected Czech goalie Tomas Popperle, who managed to put up solid AHL numbers and saw two games of NHL action, but has since bolted back to his homeland. He is no longer in the Blue Jackets organization.
Verdict: BUST!

With their second pick, they selected Swedish defenceman Patrik Hersley. Hersley struggled to produce at the AHL level, and has also returned to his homeland. He is no longer in the Blue Jackets organization.
Verdict: BUST!

SUMMARY

Out of 8 picks, the Jackets produced three players with pro-level skill, two of whom are still with the organization.

On top of that, in a deal completed just following the draft, the Jackets picked up 2007 first-rounder Ryan McDonagh who is expected to make his CMHL debut this season after spending Season 8 in the minors. So really, if we include him, 4 out of 9, for a 44% success rate.

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