The NHL is a sport that has been around for decades, but has been steadily evolving over the past couple of decades.
Over the past decade or so, the game has seen a number of notable changes, from the expansion of the NHL to the addition of the new CBA and the introduction of the salary cap to the emergence of the shootout.
While the new salary cap, which was introduced in the 2017-18 season, has changed the way the game is played, it’s the addition and expansion of player acquisitions and contracts that have changed the game in the most significant way.
The new CAA, which took effect on July 1, 2017, is designed to help players acquire more value, and for some teams, that has meant an influx of new talent.
The NHL now has six teams that have a total of 11 players drafted in the last two drafts, and it’s not a surprise to see a few players from those teams, particularly the Blue Jackets, making the jump to the NHL.
Here are 10 of the players who are making the transition to the next level in the NHL, as well as who could be a long-term addition for the Blue Birds.1.
Alexander WennbergThe forward is a player that has long been touted as a potential franchise cornerstone, and has been an integral part of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ success this season.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound forward has a strong shot, a knack for finding the back of the net, and the ability to generate offense when needed.
Wennerg’s goal-scoring ability is not only the catalyst for the Jackets’ offensive success, but also has helped the team rank among the NHL leaders in power play goals this season with 15.
Wyshynski has been a huge proponent of Wennig’s offensive ability, and in this regard he’s been very correct.
He’s a player who can play both on the power play and in the offensive zone, and he’s also shown to be a good shot-blocking presence for his size.
Wiews was selected in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft, but the Columbus blue liner’s first professional season has been spent on the fourth line.2.
Zach WerenskiWennberg and Werensk have become a reliable duo for the Columbus defenseman this season, and were a crucial part of Columbus’ playoff push in 2017-19.
Werensky, a native of Norway, was one of the league’s best defensive defenders in 2017 and led all defensemen with 14 points.
He is an excellent skater, and his size and offensive prowess makes him an excellent fit on the Blue Buds top unit.
He also provides depth to Columbus’ top unit, as he has a plus-minus rating of minus-12, making him a solid first-line defenseman.
Wennerman is a solid second-line defender, but Werenska is the better offensive threat.
Werekski has the skill set to be an elite offensive threat, but Wennings defense can get him involved when needed, too.
Weretski is a very physical defenseman who can be used in all situations.3.
Cody FransonThe Columbus Bluebirds have one of hockey’s best top defensive pairings, but have struggled to generate much offense this season and may be looking for a way to add some depth to the roster.
The 6-3, 212-pound Franson was selected fourth overall by the Blue Bombers in the 2016 draft, but struggled with consistency and was sent down to the AHL.
The Blue Bombs re-signed him to a two-year contract on July 3, but Franson’s first season in Columbus is the last year of his deal.
His offensive potential has been on display this season as the defenseman has eight goals and 19 points in 25 games.4.
Connor MurphyThe Blue Jackets acquired Murphy from the Winnipeg Jets last season in exchange for a 2017 first-round pick.
The speedy defenseman played well for the Jets last year, and was the Jets top defenseman at the start of the 2018-19 season.
The 20-year-old forward has had a successful NHL career and could be an effective asset to Columbus this season given the team’s need at the forward position.
Murphy is a hard-working, hard-nosed, and confident player who has a good hockey IQ.
He has been playing alongside two of the best defensive prospects in the game, Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid, and that’s a great thing for Columbus.5.
Dylan StromeThe 6’3, 213-pound Strome is a great skater and a talented goal scorer, but he’s a bit of a wild card for the Blues.
Strome played in only one game for the club last season due to a concussion, and could end up in the AHL this season if his health continues to be the issue.
The Blues have been rumored to be interested in acquiring him for a while, but they likely wouldn