Blue Jackets Mostly Observers As Draft Winds Down

The Blue Jackets did not own a first round draft pick. In fact, they did not own a second round pick. And the third round selection they owned went to the Florida Panthers in exchange for two fourth rounders.

With those, Columbus selected Swedish defenseman Eric Hjorth (no. 104) and Russian winger Dmitri Voronkov (no. 114). They would also go on to take Windsor Spitfires center Tyler Angle with a seventh round pick (no. 212).

None of these players is expected to make the Columbus roster next year, so the move this weekend that might have the greatest immediate impact on the CBJ involved the Devils and Predators.

PK Subban takes a photo with a Preds fan at Nationwide Arena.

PK Subban takes a photo with a Preds fan at Nationwide Arena.

Nashville received Steven Santini, Jeremy Davies, a 2019 second-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick. Most notably, though, they freed up cap space with which they can pursue free agent Matt Duchene.

The Blue Jackets, after trading for Duchene at last season's deadline, would like to keep the center. However, it now appears that it will take a massive offer to make that happen.

At the same time, the Devils, one of Columbus's Metro Division rivals, acquired defenseman PK Subban.

Only five NHL teams gave up more goals than New Jersey did last season, so anything that helps them improve in that area could make a big difference. And Subban is a defenseman with some offensive upside. He had nine goals (ranking him 32nd among skaters at the position) and 31 points (ranking him 53rd) in 2018-19.

Other notes:

  • As Aaron Portzline of The Athletic noted, the Blue Jackets three picks makes Columbus "the first club to select fewer than four players since the draft took on its current format after the 1979-80 season."
  • Duchene can talk to other teams about potential free agent contracts starting tomorrow.
  • Defenseman Layton Ahac, who is committed to play for the Ohio State men's hockey team, was a third round pick (no. 86 overall) by the Vegas Golden Knights.
  • Eight members of the United States National Development team were selected in the draft's first round, including the top overall pick.

  • The Blue Jackets development camp is this week. It will culminate with a 3-on-3 tournament and block party on Friday. Details here.
  • The 2019-20 NHL schedule will be released on Tuesday.

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