We’ve seen some wild “trade proposals” over the last few days, made for the third overall pick held by the Blue Jackets. The thing about proposals from other fanbases: they usually completely ignore the actual needs of the opposing team. Today, we’ll look at this from a Blue Jacket perspective.
Right off the bat, it’s important to note that the Jackets don’t actually want to trade this pick. In spite of their adding defensemen over the last week, the idea here is to draft their future #1 center at this summer’s draft. That was the plan two weeks ago, and it’s still the plan today. So, for any team who wants to come knocking at the door for this pick, they have to know up front: it’s not really for sale, so your offer had better be ridiculous.
This isn’t a team that’s in a position to compete next year. This isn’t a team that is loading up for a one-year crack at a Stanley Cup, either. So, throw out your ideas of trading away 30+ year old fill-ins, or players who will be unrestricted free agents in a year. It just isn’t going to happen.
Also, no combination of spare parts is going to get this thing done. The Jackets have been clear about using this pick to land a long-term #1 center. With all of that in mind, here are three trades that might actually make sense from our perspective – with teams whose fans seem intent on landing the #3 overall pick.
Vancouver Canucks – Elias Pettersson extended 8 years. That’s it, that’s the trade. One for one. The Canucks are probably the only team we’ll talk about in this article, that can actually give the Jackets exactly what they hope to achieve with this pick: a young, high end first line center. This works if they’re willing to execute a sign and trade.
Why it works: The Jackets get a 24 year old center who is just entering his prime – and who has already scored 323 points in 325 career NHL games. The Canucks clear a big chunk of their cap troubles away, and acquire a high draft pick to kick off their rebuild in earnest.
Why it doesn’t: Come on, let’s face it. The Canucks aren’t trading away their franchise player. The Jackets are the only team that leaves happy in this scenario, and in 2-3 years, if Leo Carlsson and Will Smith are premier players in the league, will they regret it? Unless they have won a Cup, I would say, probably so.
The Jackets aren’t dealing this pick for anything less than a franchise center, so, let the 30-year-old JT Miller for #3 overall talk go where it belongs. The garbage can.