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Five Years Later - The CMB 2008 Draft Written by habsfan93 - November 2nd, 2013

With Season 10 about to start, all the GMs in the CMHL are getting geared up for a new year. I thought I would take a minute to reflect on a draft of old.

They say you have to wait 5 years before you can analyze a draft. So while I can't predict 2018, I can reflect on 2008 (the summer after Season 4).

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

After not having a first-round pick in 2007, the Jackets traded up in 2008 to get the 12th overall pick, which they used on forward Zach Boychuk. Unfortunately, he never quite lived up to his billing. Though he finally managed to crack the Columbus roster in Season 9 as a 4th line role player, he didn't last the season and was eventually shipped out to Colorado. Though he finished the season with a respectable 14 points in 72 games, going into Season 10, he looks to be starting the season back in the minors within the Chicago organization. 

VERDICT: For a 12th overall pick, and considering Tyler Myers, Erik Karlsson and Jordan Eberle were all taken within the next 10 picks of that draft, BUST!

The Jackets had two picks late in the second round, the first being Mitch Wahl taken at #53. Wahl was never signed by Columbus and traded to Tampa Bay for a 5th round draft pick. Wahl seems to have maxed out as an ECHL-level player, is now 23 and a UFA with no team willing to take a chance on him.

VERDICT: BUST!

Four picks later, the Jackets used their third pick of the draft to select a big, hulking defenceman in Jyri Niemi at #57. Even worse than Wahl, Niemi wasn't even signed to a rookie contract by Columbus and he was allowed to reenter the draft. Like Wahl, Niemi has maxed out as a useful ECHL player and is currently without a contract.

VERDICT: BUST!

In the third round, the Jackets decided to strengthen their depth in nets, selecting goalie Peter Delmas at #76. Delmas also never achieved any success beyond the ECHL and was not signed to a rookie deal by the Blue Jackets. 

VERDICT: BUST!

With the second last pick of the 4th round, the Jackets still didn't fare much better in their selection of Nicholas Larson at #119. Larson was traded to Tampa with Mitch Wahl for an additional 5th round pick and is currently without an NHL contract, though he was picked up by an AHL team this year after finishing his college playing career last spring.

VERDICT: BUST!

At #133, the Jackets selected hulking goaltender Jason Missaien. Unable to earn an NHL contract after the draft, the Jackets didn't sign Missiaen and let him return to the draft. Missiaen has since turned into an AHL-level goalie but no one expects much more from him.

VERDICT: For a fifth-round pick, he's probably achieved expectation but the fact that we didn't sign him makes this a BUST pick.

At #139, the Jackets finally made what looks to be a reasonably decent pick in forward Matt Calvert. Calvert has quietly turned himself into a reasonable 3rd/4th line pro-level forward. The Jackets had plans to give Calvert a lineup spot going into Season 8 but they wound up trading him to St. Louis that summer in order to move up in the first round of the draft. After a successful Season 8 in the CMHL (winding up with Phoenix eventually), Calvert spent Season 9 in the minors. It looks though like he will get another shot to earn a roster spot in Season 10.

VERDICT: Met expectations.

Fast forward to Round 7, and the Jackets had two picks to make back-to-back. They used the picks on two players who were re-entering the draft. The first was used on forward Ashton Rome, who never made it past the AHL and is now playing hockey in Europe.

VERDICT: BUST!

The second 7th round pick for the Jackets turned out to be their most fruitful of the draft. They took a chance on goalie Richard Bachman who has since turned into the Blue Jackets regular backup goaltender. After spending one season as the starter in MODO, Bachman played 27 games for the Jackets in Season 9 posting a 6-11-2 record. Not terrific for a backup but with his salary coming in at only $350,000, he will likely get a fair shot at playing 10-20 games again this season.

VERDICT: BOOM!

So all in all, not the best draft for Columbus. Only one player drafted remains on the roster (Bachman) and only two could be considered to be successful picks out of 9 total. Hopefully 2009 will produce a better result - we'll find out next year.

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