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Likely candidates to lead Blue Jackets in scoring

Aug 13, 2012, 10:20 PM EST

Columbus Blue Jackets v Dallas Stars Getty Images

Whether the Columbus Blue Jackets are a better team with or without Rick Nash, someone else will be the team’s leading scorer in 2012-13.

So who might that be? Let’s take a look at the most likely candidates.

Vinny Prospal – The veteran forward was neck-and-neck with Nash most of last season before falling five points behind for the team lead.

Brandon Dubinsky – He’s arguably the gem of the trade that sent Nash to New York; could a resurgence be in order?

R.J. Umberger – Umberger has generated four consecutive 20+ goal seasons and is a year removed from scoring 57 points – strong on a team full of “second-liners.”

Ryan Johansen – Could the team’s hottest offensive prospect be primed for a big leap?

Derick Brassard – Another Columbus first-rounder with a lot of room for improvement (and solid potential).

James Wisniewski or Jack Johnson – The Blue Jackets sport two defensemen who could be described as offensive catalysts. It’s far from unprecedented for a blueliner to lead a low-scoring team in points.

Artem Anisimov – Gun salutes seem like a natural fit for a franchise that fires a cannon after goals, right?

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  1. killerpgh - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    If Dubinsky is considered the “gem” in the return for Rick Nask the BJ’s are in trouble. I’m gonna guess that Umberger leads the team in scoring with 55 points.

    • barkar942 - Aug 13, 2012 at 11:17 PM

      Don’t discount Duby too soon. I have watched him play in NY for his full NHL career thus far. The Rangers have had many players over the years that came through their farm system that were traded away and have become true NHL stars. This kid has tons of potential, and perhaps out of the NY spotlight, he may get a chance to shine. Torts is a tough love coach. He was very hard on Duby trying to get him to emotionally mature into a strong player with his head in the game all the time. Unfortunately, he still had his lapses. He is not Rick Nash, but I honestly think you will be pleased with him.

  2. mclovinhockey - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:47 AM

    Dub is a 2nd liner AT BEST, on a team that’s filled with 2nd liners… If I was the jackets, I’d be scared.

    Oh and I agree with kill, RJ will be the leading scorer which still is not a good sign.

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