For some people, third just isn’t good enough. And while the third overall pick is certainly good enough when it comes to Friday’s NHL Draft, the Columbus Blue Jackets are still looking to move up to the first or second overall picks – according to the Columbus Dispatch.
The Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline is reporting that the Jackets have spoken with both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets about moving up in the draft.
Unlike the Edmonton Oilers – who weren’t going to trade the first overall pick last season – the Leafs seem to be listening to offers. However, the asking price remains steep.
It’s expected that the Maple Leafs and Jets will take Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine first and second respectively. And while either of these two players are franchise-type players, the remainder of the draft is deeper in talent than most years.
Assuming the asking price for the second overall pick is just as steep as the Leafs’ price for the first pick, the Blue Jackets might just remain at the three spot. If that’s the case, Columbus is expected to go with the second ranked Finn – Jesse Puljujarvi.
If there’s any team that could get the Leafs thinking about moving that first overall pick, the Blue Jackets might have the right pieces and prospects to get there. Regardless, the third overall pick would have to be part of the deal.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.