Two of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ hottest prospects – defenseman Ryan Murray (pictured) and forward Boone Jenner – survived the team’s cuts. That means they’ll start the regular season with Columbus, but head coach Todd Richards told the team Web site that “nothing is guaranteed going forward.”
Each can be sent back to the AHL if they can’t keep up their pace from the preseason.
Even so, both face interesting opportunities, particularly Jenner. The 20-year-old will start the season skating with Marian Gaborik and Brandon Dubinsky after some nice success in exhibitions.
“Based on what they were able to do and how they were able to play as a group, I would be foolish to try and experiment with (Jenner) now somewhere else,” Richards said. “I think they’ve worked so well together.”
That’s not to take anything away from Murray, who’s also 20. The New York Islanders offered their entire 2012 NHL Draft (including the fourth pick) to the Blue Jackets to select him with the second pick and Columbus fired the Isles down. Beyond the inherent interest of being the second-highest selection of a draft, that added wrinkle should always make Murray worth monitoring.
We’ll also have to wait and see if Columbus determines that the hockey world will get to witness them play more than nine regular season NHL games.