Blue Jackets Clearly Winning the Jones Trade After Two Solid Drafts

Now that the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft is over, we know all of the players involved in the trade involving Blackhawks star-defenseman Seth Jones. To say the Columbus Blue Jackets are winning this trade would be a massive understatement.

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In July 2021, facing the fact that Jones was not interested in signing a long-term contract with the Blue Jackets, GM Jarmo Kekalainen sent Jones to the Blackhawks in a massive trade. The full details of the trade are below.

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  • Blackhawks received: Seth Jones, 2021 first-round pick (32nd overall), 2022 sixth-round pick (173rd overall).
  • Blue Jackets received: Adam Boqvist, 2021 first-round pick (12th overall), 2021 second-round pick (44th overall), future first-round pick (which became the 2022 sixth-overall pick when the Blackhawks pick wasn’t in the top-two.)

Here is how that trade looks with the player names listed instead.

  • Blackhawks received: Seth Jones, Nolan Allan, Dominic James.
  • Blue Jackets received: Adam Boqvist, Cole Sillinger, *Aleksi Heimosalmi, David Jiricek.

Heimosalmi was drafted 44th overall in 2021 by the Carolina Hurricanes after the Blue Jackets sent that pick to them in exchange for defenseman Jake Bean.

Breaking Down the Performances

The Blackhawks immediately signed Jones to a massive eight-year extension worth an average annual value of $9.5 million. He finished the 2021-22 season with 5-46-51 with his 46 assists being a new career high.

Seth Jones, Chicago Blackhawks
Seth Jones is still a really good player despite how the trade looks. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Allan finished with a line of 7-34-41 in 65 games for the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders and added an assist in five playoff games in 2021-22.

James plays at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he finished with a line of 6-12-18 in 39 games in 2021-22.

Boqvist thrived in his first season with the Blue Jackets scoring 11 goals in 52 games on a whopping 17.2% shooting. He finished tied for first with Zach Werenski for goals by a defenseman on the Blue Jackets this season. Boqvist just signed a three-year extension worth an average annual value of $2.6 million. Our William Espy says this deal is a bargain for the Blue Jackets.

Related: Blue Jackets Got a Bargain With Adam Boqvist Contract Extension

Sillinger played his entire 18-year old season for the Blue Jackets at center and finished the season in their top-six. He scored 16 goals and 31 points in 79 games in 2021-22.

Bean joined the Blue Jackets after the trade and played the most he’s ever played in his career. In 67 games, he secured career highs with 7-18-25.

Jiricek impressed in international play this season with his most recent performance coming in the World Championships. His upside is that of a number-one true shutdown defender.

Blue Jackets Come Out Ahead

To this point, the Blue Jackets are way ahead on this deal. In trading Jones to the Blackhawks, the Blue Jackets have a top-six center of the future and potential future captain in Sillinger. They have two high-upside defensemen in Boqvist and Jiricek and have a solid defenseman in Bean. In order for the Blue Jackets to come out ahead, they had to hit on their picks. They’ve done that.

In saying that, this trade winner cannot be determined yet. Jones is still a world-class player and will help whichever team he’s on, whether it’s the Blackhawks through their rebuild or on a new team if they elect to move him. If he’s moved, the Blackhawks could get future pieces that could help them.

Allan and James could eventually have an impact in the coming years. Time will tell on that front.

But if we had to proclaim a winner right this second, it’s the Blue Jackets running away. The fact that they were able to secure four core pieces of their team as a result of the trade, it’s a slam dunk.

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The Blue Jackets also aren’t on the hook for the current Jones’ contract which is another feather in their cap. If a trade were to happen, that daunting contract could diminish a potential return if teams were to take on that cap hit in full.

We may come to look back at this trade someday as one of the best for the Blue Jackets and one of the worst for the Blackhawks depending how it all shakes out. If the Blue Jackets enjoy playoff success soon, we will all look back at this trade as the starting point towards their ascent.

The Blue Jackets hit their draft picks both last year and this year. That’s why they’re in prime position to win this trade going away.