|Ryan Johansen||F||38||6||26||$4 mil|
Wednesday turned out to be a pretty busy day in the NHL marketplace, but only one deal really struck a chord with the hockey pool this year and it was the straight-up swap between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Nashville Predators today.
One would have to believe that this deals breaks down as a team needed to offload an asset that wasn't going to play well for them down the road, due to strained relationships with management and a team that used one of their many assets on the blueline to help them acquire some solid scoring talent, adding to a very respected defensive structure.
I'm not sure it gets any easier than that.
In Ryan Johansen, the Predators manage to get a very significant piece of the puzzle, adding a number one or number two centre to their team, who has already seen some peaks to his career, already having a 33-goal season and a 26-goal season to his credit. As you can see by his numbers so far this season, he probably isn't going to hit those sort of heights in the 2016 season, unless Nashville is where he is meant to be, but the talent and the upside is definitely there to do so.
It is also important to note, that Johansen does have one more year on his current deal, which will also pay him $4 million in the 2017 season.
In order to get such a quality piece of offense, the Predators did have to give up a quality piece in return and you can definitely see that they did, offering up Seth Jones in return.
Johansen was the 4th overall pick in the 2010 draft, while Jones was the 4th overall pick in the 2013 draft and both definitely have that top five upside, but maybe more so in different ways.
Jones has already spent a two and a half seasons under the wings of Shea Weber and Roman Josi and as much as his numbers may not be as dazzling offensively, his all around game has certainly been something to talk about, as he has become a well-rounded puck moving defender.
As for the hockey pool, this definitely has a little bit more upside for Eric, who has Johansen in the pool this year and he could use that upside here right away, as his team, currently in 15th, also is the early favourite for the Basement Dweller this week. On the plus side, Eric's team is only 10 points out of 7th, 20 points out of 6th and 31 points out of the money. Johansen would have to score a bunch for that to count a ton, but it is a start.
On the flip side, this is a bit of a kick to the nuts for Grant, whose team is already in last place and Jones going to one of the least offensive teams in the league this year, certainly won't help. This trade may have a little bit more long-term value, as Jones will get to cut his teeth with a few more minutes in Columbus, but there'll still be a learning curve to adjust to.
Still, it's a pretty big deal.