The entire state of Ohio was heard cheering when the Anaheim Ducks shockingly selected Leo Carlson with the second overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. That was a stunning pick because of the fact that everyone assumed they’d take Adam Fantilli. The Columbus Blue Jackets got him instead.
Getting him with the third overall pick had to make them feel like lottery winners instead of lottery losers as they were. Now, there is a ton of hope that a player like him combined with guys like Patrik Laine, Johnny Gaudreau, Kent Johnson, and Zach Werenski amongst others will make this a good team.
Playing in the preseason is a gift for some players but Adam Fantilli expected it. He also expects to be a key contributor to the team once the regular season begins. After a Hobey Baker-winning freshman season at Michigan, he is ready for big things in the NHL.
He is only the third player in NCAA hockey history to win that award as a freshman. Paul Kariya and Jack Eichel were the other two. The former is a Hall of Famer and the latter just won the Stanley Cup and could absolutely end up in the Hall. Fantilli would love to follow in their footsteps.
Adam Fantilli is going to make a lot of Blue Jackets fans happy this year.
On Wednesday night, the Columbus Blue Jackets took on the Buffalo Sabres in a preseason matchup and Adam Fantilli scored his first of the exhibition season. He let one rip from near the blue line and it beat the goaltender after a defender redirected it.
This is one of many for this kid in a Columbus Blue Jackets sweater. He dominated in the prospect tourney that he played in during the month of September and now he is ready to keep scoring in games like this. Soon, they will count toward his stat sheet.
The Blue Jackets wrap up their preseason slate on Friday night as they will take on the Washington Capitals in our nation’s capital. We’ll see if he suits up although you can probably expect a full dress rehearsal for them in that one. It will be fun to watch him all season long.