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

Even though they have just one UFA, the Jackets have some pieces up front that could be intriguing to teams searching for depth at this year's trade deadline.
New Jersey Devils v Columbus Blue Jackets
New Jersey Devils v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages
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Yesterday, we talked about three defensemen the Blue Jackets could look to move before the trade deadline. Today, we'll do the same thing with three forwards.

Three Defensemen the Jackets Could Trade at the Deadline. Three Defensemen the Jackets Could Trade at the Deadline. dark. Related

The team doesn't have many easy outs up front, in my opinion. There are a lot of restricted free agents (RFA) here, but I don't see the team looking to trade many of those players at the deadline. Most of them fit into the long-term plans here.

They have just two unrestricted free agents (UFA) - and one of them is the captain of the Cleveland Monsters, Brendan Gaunce. Teams probably won't be lining up to trade for him. The other UFA here is the most likely trade candidate up front (more on him later).

Like the defense corps, there is a log jam of forwards with the Jackets, one that they would be wise to start cleaning up. But, barring any surprise blockbuster deals for, say, Patrik Laine or Boone Jenner; it really feels like the log jam will carry into the summer. Then, I think a bigger move is possible.

For this trade deadline, however, it seems like any deals up front will probably be a way of turning depth pieces into future assets. Too many teams are cap-strapped, and unless the Jackets want to take salary back (unlikely); I think they're in a place where they have to play out the season.

Let's take a look at the three potential trade chips that I came up with.