Columbus Blue Jackets: Underrated Free Agents can Still Make an Impact

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 28: Jimmy Hayes
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 28: Jimmy Hayes /

Last year, the Columbus Blue Jackets found a hidden gem in free agency with Sam Gagner. If the Jackets are still looking for free agents this year, there are still a few available players that could give the team a Gagner-like spark.

Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen has said that he would be happy making no moves heading into next season. However, we know that he won’t hesitate to make a move if he thinks it’ll make the team better.

Here are some underrated unrestricted free agents that can still help the Columbus Blue Jackets this fall.

Jimmy Hayes

After a horrible 2016-2017 season in Boston, right winger Jimmy Hayes remains an unrestricted free agent at age 27. Despite his recent struggles, he could prove to be a solid depth signing for the Blue Jackets.

He has played 301 NHL games and could prove to be a valuable piece in case of injury or inconsistencies. The former second-round pick tallied 64 points between 2014-2016 so it’s not impossible for him be a decent playmaker that sees limited time in Columbus. He probably won’t score at a high rate, but he can be signed for cheap and be successful if given a specific role.

Columbus Blue Jackets
TORONTO, ON – NOVEMBER 9: Teddy Purcell /

Teddy Purcell

Teddy Purcell has played 10 seasons in the NHL. In that time, he’s totaled 307 points in 571 games while playing as a winger for four different teams.

Purcell most recently played for the Los Angeles Kings, and was waived and subsequently signed to their AHL affiliate. But just two years ago, Purcell put up 43 points. If he can return to even 50% of that, he’d be a steal of a signing for Columbus.

The Blue Jackets don’t necessarily need Purcell, but adding him for cheap to a young roster would be tremendous as he brings a veteran presence and some skill that is missing after Scott Hartnell‘s departure.

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Columbus Blue Jackets
CALGARY, AB – MARCH 27: Alex Chiasson /

Alex Chiasson

Similar to the others, Alex Chiasson could be a good depth signing for the Columbus Blue Jackets. At 26 years old, Chiasson has 320 career NHL games under his belt. Playing in Calgary last season, he scored 24 points in 81 games.

Chiasson can be a good bottom six guy if the Blue Jackets think they need another forward. He also has played in a few NHL playoff games in his career already—14, to be exact—which could prove to be valued come next spring.

Columbus Blue Jackets
BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 28: Henrik Samuelsson /

Henrik Samuelsson

Henrik Samuelsson is a former first-round pick who hasn’t really panned out thus far. The Arizona Coyotes made him the No. 27 overall pick in 2012, but he’s only played three games in the NHL.

He could be a good signing for the Blue Jackets by giving him a fresh start on a team that wouldn’t count on him for too much. Additionally, he’s still only 23 years old, so if the Blue Jackets think they can resurrect his career by putting him in a good AHL team and eventually NHL franchise, they should take the chance.