CHL Prospect Pipeline: Columbus Blue Jackets
CHL Prospect Pipeline highlights those who played in 2021-22, who were born in 2001 or later, and are signed by or on the reserve list of an NHL club.
Luca Del Bel Belluz
An all-situations centre who owns elite vision and playmaking abilities, Del Bel Belluz turned heads in 2021-22 as he exploded to a 76-point finish and one point shy of top spot in Mississauga Steelheads scoring. That was enough to convince the talent evaluators in Columbus as the Blue Jackets called upon the 18-year-old native of Woodbridge, Ont., midway through the second round of this summer’s NHL Draft.
An impressive skater for a player with a big frame, the Charlottetown Islanders left winger plays a hard game in all areas of the ice, from winning puck battles to helping his team find the win column. Continuing to round out the offensive size of his game, the 18-year-old Dartmouth, N.S., native found the scoresheet 16 times in 38 outings last season. Boyd was selected by the Blue Jackets in the sixth round of the 2021 NHL Draft.
An elite playmaker, Dumais excels despite his smaller size as shown with the Halifax Mooseheads last season where through 68 appearances the 18-year-old Ile Bizard, Que., native finished third in QMJHL scoring with 109 points and was named to the league’s Second All-Star Team. Dumais added even more hardware as he also earned honours as the CHL Sportsman of the Year. Originally chosen 18th overall in the 2020 QMJHL Entry Draft, the budding right-wing was later selected by the Blue Jackets in the third round of this summer’s NHL Draft.
A no frills blue-liner, Bjorgvik-Holm keeps the opposition honest with a tight defensive game that sees him excel both five-on-five and on the penalty kill. Making 54 appearances with the Mississauga Steelheads last season, the Norwegian import also continues to expand his offensive game as he registered three goals with 10 assists. A 2020 fifth-round selection by the Blue Jackets, Bjorgvik-Holm signed his entry-level contract last August. He is expected to join the minor-pro ranks for the coming campaign.
Owning a keen ability to manufacture breakout passes from the back end, the budding blue-liner shined with the Seattle Thunderbirds last season in coming up with five goals and 15 assists in only 27 appearances. Skating in his first season in the WHL after being chosen in the opening round of the 2020 CHL Import Draft, the 20-year-old Slovakia native showed a quick ability to adapt to the North American game. Selected by the Blue Jackets in the third round of the 2020 NHL Draft then signing his first contract with the club last June, Knazko will join the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters in 2022-23.
A high-motor left-wing who creates scoring opportunities with his quick feet, Malatesta has continued to round out his game over three campaigns with the Quebec Remparts where last season saw him finish fourth in team scoring with 53 points in 68 outings. Hailing from the Kirkland, Que., the talented 19-year-old has also shined on the national stage including a five-game showing with Canada Black at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge where he finished second in team scoring with six points. Malatesta was chosen by the Blue Jackets in the fifth round of the 2021 NHL Draft.
A natural leader, Mateychuk captained Team White at the 2022 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, showing his ability to provide guidance along with a budding offensive game that allows the talented blue-liner to find teammates in scoring positions. That was shown last season with the Moose Jaw Warriors as well where through 65 appearances Mateychuk neared a point-per-game pace in registering 13 goals with 51 assists, flashing the potential the club saw him in when they chose him with the 11th pick in the 2019 WHL Draft. By year’s end, Mateychuk was recognized as part of the WHL’s Eastern Conference First All-Star Team. An 18-year-old from Dominion City, Man., Mateychuk has also shined on the national stage as part of Team Canada, highlighted by a gold-medal at the 2021 World Under-18 Championship. Selected 12th overall by the Blue Jackets in this summer’s NHL Draft, Mateychuk landed his entry-level contract with the club only days later.
Playing a physical and responsible two-way game, Rysavy shows an ability to be entrusted in all situations. Making 45 appearances with the Moose Jaw Warriors last season, the 19-year-old Czech import also showed flashes of his offensive skill set as he collected eight goals and 16 assists. The budding left-wing has also earned opportunities under the national spotlight, most recently representing his home nation at this summer’s World Juniors. Rysavy was chosen by the Blue Jackets in the seventh round of the 2021 NHL Draft.
A physical force on the back end, Svozil owns an aggressive playing style that allows him to defy opponents with both body positioning and stick checks. Chosen in the opening round of the 2020 CHL Import Draft, the Czech rearguard joined the Regina Pats last season and showed plenty of promise offensively as he finished second in scoring among defencemen with 41 points in 59 games. A 2021 third-round selection by Columbus, the 19-year-old signed his entry-level contract with the club last August. He is expected to join the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters for the coming season.