Only 37 game days left, right? For the Columbus Blue Jackets, that’s a lot of games for strings. But when you sit 25 points out of a playoff spot, that means they’re playing strings.
While the Blue Jackets are playing string outs on the ice, the front office is getting busy preparing for the trade deadline and beyond. They have a lot on their plate, including making decisions about the future Vladislav Gavrikov and Gus Nyquist. As of this writing, both are now expected to be traded by the March 3 deadline.
But what is the latest surrounding these two players? Which parties may express interest in their services? Where we started this week.
The latest on Gavrikov and Nyquist
As expected, many teams are believed to be interested in Gavrikov. He is considered a solid second-pairing defenseman who plays like a playoff contender.
According to TSN Insider Trading, 10 teams are believed to have contacted the Blue Jackets about Gavrikov. If you’re a Blue Jacket, you have to like that there’s a clear interest in the player. With a strong market, they should be able to find a decent return.
According to Pierre LeBrun, “It’s going to be the first+ if you want him on your team for the rest of the year.” LeBrun also added that Gavrikov is playing at a higher level than David Savard at the time. Savard returns both first and third rounders. In a loaded top-end of the 2023 NHL Draft, taking more shots is never a bad thing.
blue jacket Six picks in the first four rounds of the 2023 draft, including an additional third rounder and an additional fourth rounder thanks to Seattle’s deal from Oliver Bjorkstrand. It’s very possible the Blue Jackets could enter the draft with eight picks in the first four rounds if they get the right return for Gavrikov.
As for the most common teams associated with Gavrikov, the Oilers, Kings and Maple Leafs are the most mentioned. The Oilers have been trailing the Blue Jackets of late with scouts going to closely watch back-to-back games.
As for Nyquist, Hockey Night in Canada reported last Saturday that the Blue Jackets have begun talking to the team about a potential deal. He can fit into any contender’s middle six while adding value on special teams while bringing a veteran leader to the locker room.
Nyquist’s cap hit of $5.5 million could complicate things a bit. Perhaps the Blue Jackets will have to consider holding on to that injury to make a trade happen.
Which groups may be suitable, Frank Seravalli of the Daily Faceoff Suggest the Jets, Stars, Penguins, Devils and Rangers as possibilities. Every team will want the potential value of extending their middle six.
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As for the comeback, don’t expect a first-round pick to be a possibility. However, multiple picks and/or players may be involved. When Nyquist went to San Jose at the 2019 trade deadline, the Red Wings got a second rounder, a third rounder and had to retain 30% of the salary. Although this was four years ago, it gives you an idea of the structure that can be involved.
With six weeks until the trade deadline, you can expect buzz around Gavrikov and Nyquist to increase. Each will help a competitor in different ways.
Connor Bedard Watch
If you want to know what a lot of Blue Jackets fans are up to, they’re looking at the standings every day. As we enter Saturday’s games, the Blue Jackets find themselves occupying the basement of the standings.
The Blue Jackets have competition, though. Three teams, the Blackhawks, Ducks and Coyotes are all within five points of the basement. Finishing last does not guarantee winning the right to draft Connor BedardIt guarantees a few things.
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First, finishing last would guarantee that team a top-three pick. They will also have the highest probability of winning the draft lottery. Last place has a 25.5% chance of winning and second to last has a 13.5% chance of winning. In terms of the probability of finishing first or second, the team in last place has a 44.3% chance of falling to third place and a 55.7% chance of falling to third place.
It is well known that the Blue Jackets need a top center in their organization. This may be their best chance to fill that need. Even if they don’t land Bedard, they still get a top center.
We will continue to watch the standings as the season continues. Someone’s franchise is about to change forever in June.
- The Blue Jackets may very well finish last. Have you seen their schedule in March with all the road games? They only have three home games in March, which could be as many home games as road wins this season. Only three wins. yes
- That’s not the only thing on the bottom of the Blue Jackets. Their power play has been terrible. Need proof? They finished last in goals, just 17 in 45 matches. They are last in power-play chances with 119. 14.3% of them converted. With Johnny Gaudreau and Patrick Laine on that unit, it’s not good. They have allowed five shorthanded goals this season.
- Daniil Tarasov was sent back to AHL Cleveland, meaning Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Marzlikins are healthy.
- We’ll end on a positive note. The new fan zone at Nationwide Arena looks amazing. The overall experience appears to be the first of its kind in an NHL arena. Wait until the team on the ice approaches the team off it.
I am a fully credentialed writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters and Erie Otters as well as the Ontario Hockey League and the NHL Draft. The 2022-23 season will mark nine seasons with the Hockey Writers. I am also the certificate manager for the site. Please note the updated Twitter handle: @mark_scheig.