The Columbus Blue Jackets commence their three game road trip of Western Canada. Tonight, they battle the star studded Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers continued their search for change in the offseason, and personally, in a very bad way. They traded Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils in a horrendous one for one deal for Adam Larsson. They also dealt the consistently scratched Nail Yaukpov to the St. Louis Blues for an ECHLer and a conditional draft pick. Plenty of veterans also left the club for other franchise. Lauri Korpikoski and Adam Cracknell joined Dallas; Lukas Gazdic joined Hall in Newark; Nikita Nikitin and Rob Klinkhammer headed to Europe. Adam Pardy signed with Nashville. Adam Clendening signed with the New York Rangers. They added former Bruins in winger Milan Lucic; goalie Jonas Gustavsson; and defenseman Matthew Benning. They also added veteran defensemen Mark Fraser and Kris Russell.
The more controversial move that will keep these teams together for years to come was 2016 NHL Entry Draft. The Jackets took Pierre-Luc Dubois over Jesse Puljujarvi in the draft. The skill of Pulju keeps myself question if the Finnish winger and the skilled center in Connor McDavid will be the modern version of Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri of old in Edmonton.
Milan Lucic--Connor McDavid--Drake Caggiula
Patrick Marron--Ryan Nugent-Hopkins--Jordan Eberle
Benoit Pouliot--Leon Draisatil--Jesse Puljujarvi
Tyler Pitlick--Mark Letestu--Zach Kassian
Oscar Klefbom--Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera--Kris Russell
Brandon Davidson--Matthew Benning
Injured: Darnell Nurse, Eric Gryba, Mark Fayne, Griffin Reinhart
Columbus Blue Jackets
Brandon Saad--Alex Wennberg--Nick Foligno
Boone Jenner--Brandon Dubinsky--Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell--William Karlsson--Josh Anderson
Matt Calvert--Lukas Sedlak--Sam Gagner
Zach Werenski--Seth Jones
Jack Johnson--David Savard
Markus Nutivarra--Ryan Murray
Scratched: Oliver Bjorkstrand, Scott Harrington
Injured: Dalton Prout, David Clarkson
Players to Watch
Edmonton: McDavid. He's a star. No way else around it. Generational player.
Columbus: Gagner. The leading goal scorer comes back to the team to city that drafts him.
Enjoy the games tonight.
More to come...