Three years ago today, Jarmo Kekalainen pulled off a blockbuster trade which solidified the Columbus Blue Jackets defense going forward.
On January 6th, 2016 the Columbus Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators pulled off a massive trade seemingly out of nowhere. At the time, the Blue Jackets had a struggling blue line and the Predators had an overabundance of defensemen and a lack of scoring. Thus a trade between the two made perfect sense.
The trade sent star Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen to Nashville in exchange for Seth Jones who seemed like he’d be stuck behind Shea Weber for the long term future with the Predators at the time. Weber has since been traded to Montreal for P.K. Subban and the Predators seemingly are better than ever.
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Team success goes in favor of the Predators in terms of who “won” the trade, they made it to the Stanley Cup Final in their second year with Johansen, then got knocked out in the second round the following year. The Predators are currently on top of their division with 53 points this season.
The Blue Jackets have made it to the playoffs twice with Seth Jones, however they’ve yet to win a series and have been eliminated in the first round twice.
In terms of player development and production, the “win” goes in favor of the Blue Jackets. Jones has become one of the best defensemen in the NHL at this point, he’s not quite at the Norris level yet however he’ll be there soon. He’s hit career highs in points every season since joining the Blue Jackets and he’s still only 24 years old.
Ryan Johansen hasn’t been bad, however he’s still not been a massive game-changer with Nashville. He’s yet to pass his career high in points that he set with the Blue Jackets and it appears he’s averaged out as a 55 to 60 point player annually. While those numbers are respectable, it’s not what you’d want out of a player like Johansen who was projected to be a high end offensive player.
The trade helped both the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Nashville Predators and as a result, there really is not a winner, at least not to this point. The future may tell a different tale, however as of now this trade is a draw.