Trading Weresnki, short of recouping a bonafide young, top-line forward (center preferably) that will sign long term in Columbus is a massive massive risk. He's only 22 as you mentioned, and only going to get better. The list of guys that are worth giving him up for is a very very short one. The game is driven from the blue line out now, and having a pair of guys like Jones and Z is a huge advantage, and one reason I think Columbus won't take as big of a step back this year as others.
Agree with Matt here.
To add, if Kukan, Vlad or Peeke cannot return a top six forward then I would rather hold on to them. A non-top six F does us no good at all...already got plenty of those guys.
As for Murray, I could see him moved but not sure someone is giving us a top six F for him with his injury history. However, he could certainly return futures and if that allows us to re-stock the fridge while creating an opportunity for one of the d-men buried behind him I would consider that. If a GM wants a top pairing d-man (which Murray is) but is worried about the injury make the draft picks conditional: Murray for a first rounder and a conditional third that could become a first if he plays 70+ games in the regular season. I don't know if the return is correct but you get the idea.
This word you keep saying...I don't think it means what you think it means.
I can see trading Werenski if, and only if, the return is a first/second line left wing. Otherwise, I'd be asking around about #2Cs and cost. With the almost embarrassment of riches on the blue line, trading one of the second pairing and one of the kids for some more scoring punch might not be unreasonable.
I've said it before -- if we don't convert one or two of the defensive players on this list (not named Jones or Werenski)) for a solid top six forward, we have missed a real opportunity to get better. I do believe a window of opportunity will open up when some of the RFAs sign, forcing the trade of some pretty dynamic offensive talents so current teams can get under the salary cap.
The fact we are even considering the Captain for the top line tells you all you need to know about just how important it will be to turn defensive depth into offensive talent. As a bonus, the CBJ have cap space to take on salary if that is what it takes to make the team better.
I'm honestly not too worried about what Torts says are his line combos going into camp. Every coach on the planet plays with his line combos from day 1 until the last day. Guys are going to move around a lot without a true superstar like Panarin on the roster. Where I do think you'll see some consistency is center-winger pairings. For instance, PLD is going to be with Atkinson most of the time I would guess. Don't ask about the other combos though at this point LOL.
As for the trade, I'll be curious what a guy like Justin Faulk gets in return. There are rumors about him again given Carolina signed Gardiner. He's a right shot guy, with a pretty consistent offensive game of 30-35 points and 8-10 goals. That's a tick higher than David Savard, who is a year older but also a right shot. At the very least, it should give a pretty good idea what the market is for a guy like that.
Inevitably teams are going to have camp injuries, or realizations they are missing something on the back end, which creates another market. Or, heaven forbid, Columbus deals with some camp injuries/issues and needs to tap into that depth themselves.
Murray plus to Edmonton for Hopkins. They are loaded at center and short on good defenseman. Not sure how salary is but sure the GM's can get it figured out.
It'd probably have to be Murray and a high level prospect (Bemstrom?) and a pick to get RNH away, in my opinion, maybe even more given Murray's injury history. Tyson Barrie netted Kadri, but Barrie is consistent 50-plus point/year defensemen over the last 5-6 seasons.