5 bold offseason predictions for the Columbus Blue Jackets

As we dive further into the offseason, the Blue Jackets are heading towards a new era. How dramatic will the changes be? Here are a few things that could happen this summer.
Buffalo Sabres v Columbus Blue Jackets
Buffalo Sabres v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages
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Bold prediction #4: a player we covet as a "core piece" is dealt away.

The Jackets are a team loaded with young, skilled players. But they have not yet found line combinations that work on a consistent enough basis. They also lose a lot of puck battles.

They still lack a true top-two line center. This is even assuming that Adam Fantilli can take big steps forward for the team this year - they will still need another one, in my opinion.

Also, even after last summer's acquisitions, I think they could use one more NHL defenseman. I'm not talking a depth piece like Andrew Peeke or Jake Bean. I mean an experienced NHL player who can come in and eat up some hard minutes.

We are all tired of seeing this team go into the season with the youngest roster in the league. So, one of the tasks at hand if they are going to compete: using these young pieces as bait to land a big fish.

Look, the Blue Jackets didn't fire their GM to keep tunneling into a rebuild. They're hoping to start turning a corner towards contention.

And, even though I think they are still not ready to compete for a playoff spot next year, they have to be better. They cannot come back with another bottom-5 finish.

So, at this point in their story, I think it's time to start sorting out which young players are going to be here into the team's window of contention - and which ones are not.

The ones who aren't fitting into the future puzzle could be shopped around, to try to fill one of this team's roster holes.

To be honest, it may not happen this summer. It could go into next season. But, at some point, it feels like this team is going to make a ground-shifting trade. Someone's favorite player is getting sent out to shake things up and change this team's momentum.

The only two questions I have are: Who is getting dealt? And when?