The Blue Jackets may be watching the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs from home. This may leave some CBJ fans with no one to cheer for in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, CBJ fans should still have some interest in the results of the playoffs.
Besides former CBJ players, the two teams that CBJ fans want to win are the Seattle Kraken and Florida Panthers. Why? It has everything to do with the 1st round pick acquired from the LA Kings.
Let’s set the scene: For playoff teams, the draft order is seeded 17-32 based on the final regular season standings except for picks 29-32. The final four teams in the playoffs (i.e. the teams participating in the Conference Finals) receive picks 29-32 and are seeded based on who plays in the Stanley Cup Final and the Stanley Cup Champion.
If the Stanley Cup Playoffs were to play out exactly as the final regular season standings played out, then Seattle (21st) and Florida (17th) would pick ahead of the LA Kings pick (23rd). However, if those teams make it to the conference finals, they would then be picking somewhere between 29-32. This would bump up the LA Kings pick from 23rd to 21st. If one of the two teams makes it to the conference finals, then the LA Kings pick would go from 23rd to 22nd. Both teams made it through the 1st round of the playoffs and are already up 1-0 in their 2nd round matchups.
While it may not seem like much, there is value there. In years past, the cost to move up in the 1st round just a couple of picks was a 1st + 3rd round picks, two 2nd round picks, or a roster player + pick. It all depended on the position of the pick being traded, the players still available in that draft, and/or the team that wanted that 1st round pick. Simply put: the higher the pick, the higher the value of that pick.
It has been rumored that the CBJ are looking to trade the 1st round pick acquired form the LA Kings for immediate help. As the value of the pick increases, the CBJ bolster their chances to acquire a real impact player. Ideally, the CBJ would like to acquire a young, NHL roster player with term on his contract.