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Blue Jackets struggles' linked to the draft

Updated: January 9, 2012, 12:59 PM ET
By Alvin Chang

The key to winning in the post-lockout NHL has clearly been by building through the draft. Strong showings by the Penguins, Blackhawks and Capitals following a string of top-of-the-draft picks have signaled that pretty clearly. Since 2000, the Columbus Blue Jackets have had 10 top-eight picks -- and when you accrue that much talent, you're expected to win. When you don't, you see people lose their jobs, as Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel did Monday. But is it his fault?

Let's look at the Blue Jackets' past drafts to see how so many supposedly valuable draft picks have yielded the struggling Columbus team we see right now.

The quintessential example is Derick Brassard. He's been on the trade market virtually all season, and almost every article seems to mention the word "bust" in the subtext when describing the No. 6 overall pick in 2006. In fact, go down the list of Columbus picks and there are a lot of guys you might be tempted to call busts -- Nikita Filatov, Jakub Voracek, Gilbert Brule, Alexandre Picard, Nikolai Zherdev, Pascal Leclaire and Rostislav Klesla.

But it's not entirely accurate. The truth of the matter is, they're not really busts.

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