The introductory press conference for Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Mike Babcock can be seen in the player above.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Less than one week after selecting Canadian center Adam Fantilli in the NHL Entry Draft, the Blue Jackets have announced they have signed the teenager.
18-year-old Fantilli, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 draft, has signed a three-year entry level contract with the Blue Jackets. The contract’s finances were not disclosed by the team.
The University of Michigan product was Columbus’ highest draft pick in eight years. Fantilli is coming off one of the best freshman seasons in college hockey history. He’s just the third freshman to win the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey, joining Paul Kariya and Jack Eichel.
This is the second time in three years Columbus has used its first pick to draft a player from the Wolverines. The CBJ drafted forward Kent Johnson No. 5 overall in 2021. They also selected defenseman Zach Werenski from Michigan with the No. 8 pick in 2015.
Fantilli will be part of a new era of Blue Jackets hockey with head coach Mike Babcock entering his first season with the team in 2023-24. Columbus Blue Jackets hockey returns on Oct. 12 with its regular season opener against the Philadelphia Flyers at Nationwide Arena. The team’s first preseason game will be on Sept. 24.