Where the Jackets have the most depth for this upcoming season is on their blue line.
Big acquisitions James Wisniewski and Jack Johnson make up what could be one of the top defensive pairings in the NHL.
Veteran Fedor Tyutin has been a staple on the blue line since being acquired back in 2008. Last offseason, the 29-year-old was recently re-signed to a six-year contract extension, which is a clear sign that he will continue to be a staple, most likely on the second line.
Another defenseman, who received an extension this offseason is pleasant surprise Nikita Nikitin, who was acquired early on last season in a trade with the St. Louis Blues to try and spark the team.
Although the team did not receive a spark from the trade, Nikitin had a career year with 25 assists, showing that he could be a key contributor for the Jackets moving forward.
The Jackets also signed free agent Adrian Aucoin in the offseason to mentor the team's younger players. He will see considerable time on the third line. However, what that youngster has is yet to be determined.
The last spot will be fought over by John Moore, David Savard, recently-acquired Tim Erixon, and first-round draft pick Ryan Murray.
Moore has shown signs of improvement in his two seasons in the NHL, while Savard has been back and forth between Columbus and Springfield since being drafted in 2009.
Erixon, a top prospect acquired in the Rick Nash trade, will most likely begin the season in Springfield. Ryan Murray was considered the most NHL-ready defenseman in this year's draft class.
In my opinion, it comes down to Moore and Murray, which is a tough decision for any coach let alone Richards. The big question is whether or not he is willing to take the risk on starting Murray in game one?