Blue Jackets Maximize Seth Jones’ Value in Trade

After defenseman Seth Jones made clear his intentions to test free agency, the Columbus Blue Jackets moved the star player in a blockbuster trade with the Chicago Blackhawks shortly before the 2021 Entry Draft. This piece will analyze the Blue Jackets’ performance in the Jones trade and discuss if they got a fair return for him.

Seth Jones Trade Details

As the details of the Jones deal came to light, it was clear that there were a lot of assets moved in this trade. In exchange for Jones, the No. 32 pick in the Entry Draft, and a 2022 sixth-round pick, the Blackhawks sent the Blue Jackets defenseman Adam Boqvist, the No. 12 pick in the Entry Draft, a second-round pick, and a 2022 first-round pick.

The Blue Jackets Quickly Cash in on New Assets

It didn’t take long for the Blue Jackets to use the assets they gained in the trade. Two of the three draft picks they received were used before the end of Friday night.

With the 12th pick, they got they drafted center Cole Sillinger from the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL. It was a great pick for the Blue Jackets. Not only did they fill a major need for the team, but they also got a natural scorer. Sillinger recorded 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 31 games with the Stampede in the 2020-21 season.

Cole Sillinger Medicine Hat Tigers
Cole Sillinger (formerly of the Medicine Hat Tigers) had 46 points in 31 games with the Sioux Falls Stampede in the 2020-21 season. (Randy Feere/Medicine Hat Tigers)

The Blue Jackets then traded the second-round pick they received to the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Jake Bean. Bean had 12 points in 44 games played over two seasons with the Hurricanes, including a goal in the 2021 postseason.

How Did the Blue Jackets Do on the Jones Trade?

Shortly after the trade was made final, it was announced that Jones will be signing an eight-year extension with Chicago worth $76 million with an average annual value of $9.5 million. The Blue Jackets not having that contract on the books through the 2029-30 season is a win for the organization by itself.

On top of the money they will save, Columbus ended up with two defensemen out of the deal. Boqvist obviously came in the trade package, and Bean came at the expansion of one second-round pick. Both of them are quality players and should be able to fill the vacancy left by Jones’ departure quite nicely.

Adam Boqvist Chicago Blackhawks
Columbus got two defensemen out of assets sent in this deal, including Adam Boqvist, who was sent from the Chicago Blackhawks. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Then, as mentioned above, Columbus used this trade to move up the draft board to the 12th pick and selected a great player with a bright future in the NHL to fill a position they really need. Sillinger will be a great addition to center ice for the Blue Jackets. His playmaking and goal-scoring ability will be a great asset for the team’s future.

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Lastly, the Blue Jackets also have a future first-round pick in their pocket to use in next year’s draft or a future trade package. Overall, Columbus performed very well in the Jones trade.

Did Columbus or Chicago Win the Trade?

First off, Columbus avoided what would have been a terribly expensive and disastrous contract for them (it’s also a bad deal for Chicago). A team in a rebuild does not want to shell out that kind of money or that long of a contract.

The Blue Jackets also pulled three players that will help Columbus enter a new era from the trade. Sillinger is a skilled center that fills a need. Bean and Boqvist will fill the hole left by Jones’ departure and guide the team into their future.

When you consider the fact that the Blue Jackets were able to avoid a bad contract and pull in three quality players with assets gained in this deal, it is not only clear that Columbus won this trade, but it may be one of the better trades that Jarmo Kekäläinen has made in his tenure as GM.

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