Three Defensemen the Columbus Blue Jackets Could Look to Trade Before the Deadline

The Jackets have a log jam on the blue line. With several players who don't fit into the long-term plans, they should look to clear that log jam up before the March 8th trading deadline.
Seattle Kraken v Columbus Blue Jackets
Seattle Kraken v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages
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The left side of the defense corps for the Jackets has been a big part of their issue this season, in my opinion. You have Zach Werenski, who is great in his role. But, he's followed up by Werenski-lite (Provorov) - and then Provorov-lite: Jake Bean.

If the Jackets decide to hold onto Provorov for whatever reason this spring, Bean himself could become a trade candidate for the club. Through 42 games, he has 3 goals and 4 assists (7 points).

Here we have a good skating, puck moving defenseman, who is probably at least fourth or fifth on the team's depth chart for power-play time on the blue line. Not ideal. Fortunately, Bean is in the final year of his contract and will be a restricted free agent, so it's possible to find a new home for him.

A trade before the deadline could benefit both sides. It would free up space for the Jackets to evaluate other defensemen. It would also give Jake Bean a chance to showcase himself with another organization. Clearly, he doesn't fit into the long-term plans here - at least, that's not what his usage indicates.

Dec 19, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jake Bean (22) takes a shot
Dec 19, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jake Bean (22) takes a shot / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

We have seen him be a solid contributor in stretches here and there, but he hasn't yet put it all together consistently. He's still not strong enough to handle the game physically, often getting out-muscled in puck battles. But with the puck on his stick, when he's confident, he can produce offensively.

Bean is 25 years old now, and a fresh start could give him the opportunity to break out as a second pairing option for another team. I just don't see that happening here. There isn't any trust from this organization, and he hasn't shown enough to work his way into the CBJ top-four - weak as it may be.

The value on Bean would probably be pretty low, especially considering his $2.33m AAV cap hit. With retention, I would expect something like a mid/late-round pick or B-tier prospect. Not enough to move the needle long-term; but at least it would help clear the logjam on the blue line.