With the NHL Draft right around corner, does Jarmo Kekalainen have a plan for the three first round draft picks that Columbus holds? I am sure that Jarmo has a lot of thoughts going through his mind about what his possible options are for Draft day. If one of those options is trading away one or more of the Blue Jackets first round picks, who would you like to see “join the battle” with Columbus?
You guessed it, I am going to tell you my three players that I would like to see Jarmo acquire on Draft day:
The first player that I think Jarmo should target is someone that he is familiar with, someone that he helped draft…David Backes. Before Columbus (and Jokerit), Kekalainen was the former Assistant GM and Director of Amateur Scouting, and played a pivotal role during the draft process for the St. Louis Blues. I think that Backes would fit in quite well with the Blue Jackets. He is a big body, and he certainly knows how to throw it around. Backes is also not afraid to establish a net presence, battle in the corners and play behind the net. He is also the current captain of the Blues (which could make this deal impossible), but with the Blues not doing well in the playoffs this year they might be looking to stir the pot. With this said, he would make for a great leader on and off the ice for the Blue Jackets.
The second player that I think Jarmo should target is…Thomas Vanek. Vanek may actually be available as a trade option, and the Buffalo Sabres, being a team in rebuilding mode would welcome another first round draft pick. Vanek, like Backes, is known for setting up shop in the crease. He probably scores half of his goals off rebounds or deflections. Although he seems a little bit slow, especially in the defensive end, he makes up for it in goals. One other thought is that Marian Gaborik plays right wing, Vanek plays left wing, that could be a deadly combo. If it didn’t work out you would have two great goal scorers on two separate lines.
The third player that I think Jarmo should target is…Keith Yandle. There was a lot of chatter at the trade deadline that Yandle was on the block, could the Phoenix Coyotes look to move him on draft day? What a pick up that would be for the blue line. Yandle not only plays solid defense, but he also contributes points (+4, 30 points, 48 gp). He is also a puck moving defensemen, which holds high value. Don’t forget an added boost on the power play, the list goes on and on.
Speaking of the list goes on and on, this list could probably go on and on. Obviously these scenario’s may not even be remotely possible, but it is nice to say what if every once in a while. Who is your what if player? What if the Columbus Blue Jackets could trade for…