Coming off the heels of Elliotte Friedman’s reporting, it appears the Blue Jackets are likely to trade Seth Jones at the NHL Draft. It was just two weeks ago during his exit meetings, Jones said he wanted to weigh his options. Now we have indication of just exactly what he wants to do.
Blue Jackets likely to trade Seth Jones
According to Elliotte Friedman, Jones informed the Columbus Blue Jackets he will be testing the Free Agent Market next summer. “In the last week or so, Seth Jones informed the Columbus Blue Jackets that he will not be re-signing,” Friedman said on Saturday Headlines. “I am saying for now because I don’t like to deal in absolutes, but it does appear as if he is prepared to test free agency and we’ll see how Columbus decides to handle this over the next little while.”
Today, John Davidson is indicating what I noted yesterday, that they will likely trade him this summer. His preference would be to keep him, but the Jackets can ill afford to lose another star for nothing. The sting of both Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky lingers for many fans in Columbus.
“Whatever happens is going to be what’s the absolute best for the Blue Jackets franchise, period,” Davidson said. “That’s just how it works. Doesn’t matter if it’s Seth Jones or Joe Smith, the player has the right through the (collective bargaining agreement) to do what they feel is necessary for them and their careers.Aaron Portzline, The Athletic
Jones is 26 years-old and coming off a season where he recorded 28 points in 56 games.
Two teams that are likely to make a run for Jones
Trading Jones as a rental at the next NHL Trade Deadline will result in the lowest return possible. However, a move at the Draft would maximize the package. Of course, the return would have to predicated on if Jones would be willing to negotiate a contract with the acquiring team. Otherwise, the package would only be slightly better than a deadline rental.
Here are two teams I believe will make serious runs for his services at the draft.
Philadelphia Flyers: This team has openly said they need to improve their blue-line and Seth Jones would do that and more. I believe the Flyers have the most to offer the Jackets in a trade. All packages would need to start with a first round pick. In the case of Philadelphia, it depends on if they win the lottery on Wednesday. Let’s say they don’t, I am thinking a first round pick, Nolan Patrick, and Shayne Gostisbehere with salary retained.
Dallas Stars: Jones is from Arlington, Texas and it would a nice move to have a hometown kid anchor the Dallas blue-line. The Stars seriously need help on defense and have cap room to accommodate Jones’ current $5.4 million hit. I am just not sure what the Stars are willing to give up to get him. It starts with their first round pick, which like Philly’s is a lottery selection. Would Radek Faksa even move the needle for Jarmo Kekalainen? This is a tough package to comprise, but the interest will be there for Jones at the draft.