Columbus Blue Jackets Get 8th Pick in Draft: Will They Look to Trade It?
The 2011 NHL Draft Lottery concluded on Tuesday and the Edmonton Oilers will pick number one overall for the second straight season.
The Columbus Blue Jackets received the number eight pick in this years draft and will look to make an impact.
Past first round picks include the current first line, which includes Rick Nash, winger Jakub Voracek, and center Derick Brassard.
Other first round picks include the under achieving Nikita Filatov, recently traded Rostislav Klesla, youngster John Moore, and the hopeful superstar in Ryan Johansen.
While Johansen and Moore wait for their chances, Klesla and Filatov are just a couple of Jacket first rounders that just did not seem to work out.
Klesla, the team's first draft pick ever, played well from time to time and became a fan favorite in Columbus.
However, lately the injury bug and inconsistency put "Rusty" on the block and he was later traded to the Phoenix Coyotes in a deal that brought Sami Lepisto and Scottie Upshall to Columbus.
Filatov took the league by storm when he first arrived in Columbus, scoring a hat trick in his first season and tallying four total goals in just eight games.
However, Filatov had his issues, butting heads with previous coach Ken Hitchcock as well as playing in leagues in both Russia and Columbus. Filatov is a good player, but not with Columbus.
Whether their picks have been a success or a failure, it is clear that the Jackets keep their draft picks close to the chest. What I mean by this is Columbus likes having first round picks and rarely trades them away.
However, this year's draft day could be different than the past for the Union Blue as Columbus will look to make a major overhaul of both the staff and players.
Most of the Jackets' free agents will be shown the door and players like Mike Commodore and Kristian Huselius may have their contracts bought out. Huselius still could be kept around, but Commodore's days in Columbus are over.
So if the Blue Jackets do in fact trade their pick, who would be the suitor and what would get in return?
Columbus needs defense and everyone who played them this season knows it. The Jackets could look to grab a defenseman or two on draft day and then look for a second or third line defenseman come free agency.
One name being tossed around back in February is John-Michael Liles. Liles, currently under a four year deal signed in 2008, stated before the trade deadline that he would waive his no-trade clause in able to go to Columbus.
Liles had a career high 40 assists this season with the 14th place Colorado Avalanche and it is unclear whether or not Colorado will look to resign him at the end of next season.
If the Jackets were able to sway Liles to Ohio, he would most likely be a top line defenseman, where Rick Nash would reap the benefits.
Colorado holds the second pick in this year's draft and is also looking to overhaul. With veteran and former Blue Jacket Adam Foote retiring, and Paul Statsny being thrown around in trade rumors, no one seems to know the direction the Avalanche are heading.
As appealing as two first round picks sounds to any NHL team, Colorado may look to keep Liles around to fill the void that will be left by Foote.
Another free agent defenseman in 2012 that Columbus could look to trade for is Philadelphia's Matt Carle. Carle is another player that would make the Blue Jacket blue line relevant again.
Carle totaled only one goal this season, but tallied 39 assists as he helped lead the Flyers to yet another playoff berth.
Carle is a key piece to the Flyers defense, but it is a defense that has a lot of depth in their system.
When Chris Pronger went down with a late season injury, players like Eric Gustafsson and Kevin Marshall were called up to fill the void and showed that the future is bright for the Flyers defense.
Although Carle is young at 26, he has a lot of experience, including six years in the NHL.
The Blue Jackets front office has made it clear, we want results and we want them now. The front office, team, and the fans are sick of finishing almost every season on the outside looking in come playoff time.
With the overhaul that has been rumored to be on its way, the Jackets' first round pick may be on its way out as well, hopefully bringing some of the missing pieces Columbus so desires.
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