CBJ- Still Last, Trade or Keep 1st Overall Pick?
The Columbus Blue Jackets remain dead last in the entire league as they are nearing the halfway mark of the regular season, almost where they were last year before a turnaround that got them to eighth worst in the NHL. Without any lottery, and to my reference earlier, the Jackets would have the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft in Buffalo, New York. With Auston Matthews the favorite to go first, would Columbus take him, or would they trade the number one pick? This article will discuss multiple scenarios in regards to the draft and the future of the Blue Jackets.
With the Jackets playing mostly disappointing hockey, there is yet another generational number one center in their grasps in Arizona native Auston Matthews. Playing amazing in Zurich, Switzerland, he is showing he can play with men right now, and can lead he league in it too. With the rumors of Ryan Johansen on the way out, he may be the perfect replacement for Joey. However, if Johansen stays around longer and learns to be an all around player under the coaching system of John Tortorella, he (Johansen) won't be moved and he (Matthews) wouldn't fit with this team. If Matthews doesn't fit here, where does he fit and/or where should he go?
The best place has to be his hometown in Phoenix. The Coyotes need a number one center, and the Coyotes have draft picks and good young players they could move. With Columbus' small amount of draft picks, they may get two or three draft picks back for the first pick, including a first rounder.
Otherwise, any team works in getting a generational player, depending on the return package by the other team involved in negotiations.
With keeping the first pick and drafting Matthews, the Jackets would have a phenomenal one-two punch in Matthews and Johansen. Who'd want to compete with that?