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Filatov Farmed out by Columbus

October 30, 2008 | By RotoRob | comment on this post

Unless you’re playing in a keeper league, you can probably feel free to dump young Russian forward Nikita Filatov, after Columbus sent him down to the AHL on Tuesday.

This 18-year-old kid, the sixth overall pick in the draft in June, became just the fourth Blue Jacket in team history to score a goal in his NHL debut, but that marks his only point in four games. And since that game, Filatov’s playing time in Columbus has dwindled with each contest, so GM Scott Howson is making the right call here to get this top prospect some much needed action.

Apparently, the AHL can’t contain this 6’0”, 172-pound left winger, as he’s potted two goals with a +1 rating in two games with the Syracuse Crunch. All this guy does is score, and he has a chance to be an incredibly gifted NHL talent in the near future.

Filatov’s rapid development gives the Blue Jackets an interesting dilemma given the fact that three of their top forwards are all left wingers – Rick Nash, Jason Chimera (who looks to be worth a second glance on the waiver wire) and Kristian Huselius, who has cooled now after a blazing start to the campaign. Frederik Modin, also a decent offensive player, is yet another left winger clogging the Columbus depth chart. This team needs to make a deal to clear a spot for Filatov in the not too distant future.

In fact, the Blue Jackets, having lost three straight games after going .500 through their first six games, are quickly sinking in the standings, having dropped to last place in the Central Division. Things don’t get any easier Thursday, when Columbus travels to Colorado as the Avalanche will be pissed after getting shut out in Calgary earlier this week.

Columbus looked to be making some progress last season, setting a franchise record with 80 points, leading to hope that it might make a push for its first ever playoff appearance this season. Those hopes are quickly fading, however, given the team’s moribund offense (less than 2.7 goals per game).

Who knows? If this keeps up, we could be seeing Filatov back before we know it.

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