Vitaly Abramov had a Quebec League season to remember in 2016-17. The 19-year-old collected 104 points in 66 contests, which was tops among all players in the league last season.
Now, the Blue Jackets prospect believes he’s ready to make the leap straight to the NHL.
“I want to make NHL this year and I feel that I can do it,” said Abramov, per NHL.com. “I have improved my game and my [defensive] zone coverage, and I think I can do it.”
Of course, if the Blue Jackets decide not to keep him around, he’ll either have to go back to junior, or he’ll have to head overseas. But Abramov isn’t even thinking about either of those scenarios right now.
“I’m not even thinking about it right now, that I can go back. My goal is to make Columbus this year and that’s all I’m focusing on. I want to show them my best game in training camp and we’ll see what happens. I’m really focusing on making the team.”
It’s still early on in the process, but it certainly looks like the Blue Jackets got a steal when they selected him in the third round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. There’s not many third-round prospects that feel ready to make the jump to the NHL as teenagers.
As talented as Abramov is, making his team’s final roster isn’t going to be easy. The Blue Jackets are pretty deep up front. In order for him to stick around, he’ll have to really stand out during training camp.