Boom! Boom! Boom! Was yesterday the trade deadline with all the transactions occurring? The Jackets finally made the trade they were looking for, in a gutsy one for one trade with a talented Western Conference squad in Tennessee.
To Nashville: C Ryan Johansen
Ryan Johansen is an extremely talented number one center on any team in the NHL; however, he has not had the greatest year of his career, and for that was dealt for a number one defenseman. In Johansen's career, he has enjoyed every game with the Blue Jackets, scoring 30 goals, being in the top of the league in points, playing in the playoffs, and being an All Star. To be specific, he has 79 goals and 114 points in 309 career games with Columbus. He had 33 goals in the 2013-14 season, which was the year the Jackets made it to the playoffs. As a result, he signed a 3 year, $12 million dollar contract. Last season, he had 26 goals and 45 assists for 71 points in 82 games. This year, in 38 games, he has 6 goals and 20 assists for 26 points.
For Nashville, he can provide offensive for a offensively weak team that depends on its defense for most of their offense, and their prime forwards in James Neal and Fillip Forsberg. He also becomes Nashville's number one center, which slides veterans Mike Riberio and Mike Fisher down the depth chart. Also, Johansen will be getting lots of ice time- 5 on 5; power play; overtime; big moments in games; and maybe penalty killing. Finally, the system the Predators play may favor Johansen as he is an offensive forward.
Johansen did have an accelerated heart rate at his home in Vancouver, and was hospitalized there. Once the team learned about the trouble, he was brought into Columbus to get it checked it out there. Another problem is conditioning. He starts the season not as the usual goal scorer, but as a slower guy looking to find his game. Also, there was a holdup with his contract negotiations as he missed some action on the ice. There has been discussion of him pulling a "Thomas Vanek"- moved to get value, and the player leaves to go to a team of preference. In this case, Johansen could leave Nashville to sign with his hometown team- Vancouver Canucks.
To Columbus: Seth Jones
Like the player that he was traded for, Jones and Johansen both played with the Portland Winterhawks before each being drafted fourth overall in their respective drafts. Jones is the son of "Popeye" Jones, a former NBA player and current assistant coach of the Indiana Pacers. Seth Jones is an extremely talented defenseman, and has the potential to become a number one defenseman. Personally, he is already the club's number one defenseman- ahead of Ryan Murray, Jack Johnson, and David Savard.
He's a talented top paring defenseman coming to a team in need of one. He gets more ice time in every way here,like Johansen will get now in Nashville. He is quick, agile, and has size, and knows how to use it a young age. He knows how to play through the Nashville system, and the teammates had on the backend- Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Barrett Jackman.
It's really hard to pick one out, but could contract negotiations become a challenge? Could Torts' system take a while for him to buy into? And how better could he become?
Early Winner: Nashville. They are a now team and got a now number one center.
Long-Term Winner: Columbus. Their defense is something to watch for years to come.
More to come…