The trade deadline is quickly approaching and the Columbus Blue Jackets could be the NHL’s most intriguing team.
They are in the middle of a playoff push and have the Artemi Panarin/Sergei Bobrovsky saga to deal with. The Columbus Blue Jackets could be both buyers and sellers at the deadline, should be they be able to move Panarin and/or Bobrovsky. But at the very least, the Blue Jackets should be looking to add at the deadline. Here are a list of players that the Blue Jackets should target in any trade made at the deadline.
1. Jonathan Huberdeau. There have been rumors that the Florida Panthers could look to move Jonathan Huberdeau in order to free up cap space to spend on free agents this summer (i.e. Bobrovsky and Panarin). If the Florida Panthers are truly interested in shedding salary and lock up Bobrovsky and Panarin to 8 year deals, could a deal be swung to include Jonathan Huberdeau? That would be a nice return for the CBJ, as they could replace a good portion of Panarin’s production. Huberdeau is on a cap friendly deal too, making him an ideal trade target. However, it is unlikely that the Panthers would deal Huberdeau. They would likely opt to move Mike Hoffman, Derick Brassard, and/or other players before Huberdeau.
2. Kevin Hayes. The New York Rangers center is big and can score. He is exactly the type of player that is built for the CBJ system. It is difficult to trade with a Metropolitan rival and could cost a hefty price. But Hayes would make an immediate impact on the CBJ roster. Would Kevin Hayes be interested in signing a contract extension in Columbus? That is another curve ball that makes this trade difficult.
3. Marcus Johansson. It is rumored that Johansson is on the trade block. He is a center who has the ability to score. The CBJ need help down the middle and Johansson could fit the bill. However, as stated before, trading with a Metropolitan Division rival is tough and it could drive the price up. It is still worth the CBJ’s time and effort to see if they can bolster their lineup with Johansson.
Other players that could help the Columbus Blue Jackets and could be available include Kevin Fiala, Mikael Granlund, Tyler Toffoli, Mike Hoffman, and Derick Brassard. Regardless of who the Blue Jackets acquire (if anyone is acquired at all), the trade deadline is lining up to be very interesting.