The Columbus Blue Jackets will head to this summer’s draft with three first-round picks headed their way, and while that might allow them to add some great talent to their organization they would be wise to consider trade offers for at least one of those picks as well. This year’s draft class is one of the deepest in recent years, which could see many more teams interested in trading up for a better pick or trading prospects for picks. With new GM Jarmo Kekalainen in charge of things for the draft, the Blue Jackets should be able to strengthen their situation for the future.
Kekalainen had a great deal of success on draft day while working for the St. Louis Blues, and gives the Blue Jackets an edge with his insight on top European players. A late-season deal for Marian Gaborik showed how serious he is about winning, and if there is an offer on the table that will improve things he will likely consider it. The beauty of having three picks is that the Blue Jackets can still use two of them and trade one, or use one and trade two depending on what works out best for them. Another option is bundling their later two picks in order to move up and get a player they want. One of their extra picks comes from the Rick Nash trade with the New York Rangers, while the other comes from the deal that sent Jeff Carter to the Los Angeles Kings.
The Blue Jackets know that they own the 14th and 19th picks in the draft, but will have to wait for the Kings’ season to end to find out where their third pick will fall. Using all three first-round picks could strengthen this team for years to come, but the Blue Jackets are fortunate to have other options as well.