(photo:bluejackets.nhl.com)

The Columbus Blue Jackets selected seven players in the 2014 National Hockey League Draft, beginning with forward Sonny Milano in round one. The 16th overall pick comes from the United States National Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he registered 29 goals and 56 assists in 58 games.

Overall, Columbus selected three forwards, three defenseman, and one goaltender, consistent with the team’s focus on building depth at the blue line as well as up front.

In round two, Columbus selected defenseman Ryan Collins, also from the USNDP. He registered four goals and 10 assists in 107 games over the last two seasons with the program, and helped Team USA to a gold medal in the 2014 IIHF Under-18 World Championships.

Goaltender Elvis Merzlikins, Columbus’ first third-round pick, after a trade with the Detroit Red Wings, hails from Latvia. He posted a .925 save-percentage and one shutout in 22 games with Lugano (Switzerland) in 2013-2014. Immediately after, the Blue Jackets added Blake Siebenaler, a defenseman for the Ontario Hockey League. Siebenaler garnered 24 PI in 68 games in 2013, as well as 1-4-5 in seven J. Ross Robertson Cup Playoff contests.

For it’s only fourth-round selection, Columbus chose forward Julien Pelletier. Pelletier tallied 25-25-50 in 67 games with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the 2013-2014 season.

Tyler Bird, a forward from Boston, tallied 33-27-60 in 37 games for the Kimball Union Academy in the 2013-2014 season.

Finally, Columbus used its final pick to select Olivier LeBlanc of the Saint John Sea Dogs in the QMJHL. The defenseman registered 11-40-51 and 99 PIM in 116 QMJHL games over the past two seasons.

Molly is not an athlete. She quickly got used to winning the “Best Smile” award at her family's Summer Olympics (an award made up especially for her by her grandmother, who felt bad that she never won anything else). But as they say, "Those who cannot do, write about it from the sidelines and provide orange slices at half time."

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