Grading the Seth Jones Trade for the Blue Jackets

By Sam Blazer on July 25, 2021 at 2:02 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones (3) skates during warmups prior to the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Nationwide Arena.
Aaron Doster - USA Today Sports
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It has been a long time coming.

It feels like the Seth Jones trade has been discussed for years at this point. But the Columbus Blue Jackets finally pulled the trigger after much discussion. The question remains, did they get enough for their cornerstone defensemen?

The Blackhawks obviously got the player in Jones but they also got a first-round draft pick swap this year and a sixth round pick in 2022. In return the Blue Jackets got defenseman Adam Boqvist, a 2021 first round draft pick, 2021 second round draft pick and a 2022 conditional first round draft pick. 

A lot of it is picks that came with Boqvist but the second round pick got immediately flipped for former first round pick Jake Bean. Evaluating the haul, you can immediately see how it has paid dividends. 

The first round pick swap this year turned out to be huge as they were able to pick up Cole Sillinger with the number twelve pick. Sillinger was the USHL rookie of the year and showed that his scoring prowess was translatable from league to league.

Boqvist, the young defenseman will be an interesting case study for future trades. He is extremely sheltered in his play. He starts almost exclusively in the offensive zone and his play driving capabilities aren't their just yet. In every league he has every played in he has contributed offensively and even in the NHL he has shown that same spark. 

It will be interesting to see where they start him out in the lineup because immediately he won't be able to be a minute eater like Seth Jones was unless you want him to take his lumps. Whether he becomes a specialist or a top pairing defenseman is the bet here.

The condition on the 2022 pick from the Blackhawks is protected in case that pick wins the lottery. In that case, the Blackhawks pick would then go to 2023. It is a big gamble for a team that is not exactly on the precipice of a Stanley Cup. Getting this future pick from them is massive and could very well be a lottery pick. 

On the other side of the coin, the Blackhawks made a massive gamble on Seth Jones. They see a defenseman that can be on their back end for years and years to come. They are hoping that his most recent season with the Blue Jackets was an abbertation and he is more like the player that was seen a couple of seasons ago. A game breaker that can turn a game on its head in a moment's notice. 

They believed in it so much that they gave him an eight year deal and a 76 million dollar contract averaging out to $9.5 dollars annually. With the flat cap the next few seasons it is a risk but by the same token whether or not he recovers is also a big issue.

The risks for the Blackhawks are plentiful and they had to give up a lot of the right to sign him for this long. The Blue Jackets should be counting their blessings they don't have this on the books. Add that to the fact that the haul should be able to help out with their rebuild, it was a no-brainer for the Blue Jackets.

Grade: A-

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