Former Flyer could break through

After a disappointing first season in Columbus, Umberger could make a big leap

Originally Published: August 7, 2009
By Andrew Rothstein and E.J. Hradek | Puck Prospectus/ESPN The Magazine

Using the newly debuted projection system of Puck Prospectus, VUKOTA, Insider takes the temperature of players on every NHL team, continuing into the Central Division on Friday with the Blue Jackets.

Summer Skate -- Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus, a perennial basement-dweller, finally had a pulse this past season. With an above-average offense and defense, by GVT's standards, and a rising young star in the net in Steve Mason, the Blue Jackets finally have the beginnings of a promising future. Coming off the first playoff round in team history, the Blue Jackets will need to find a way to help Rick Nash if they plan on going to the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

To see which player could soar, which could sink and which could be a potential impact prospect, you must be an ESPN Insider. Insider

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.