We have a trade.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have traded center Ryan Johansen to the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Seth Jones in a huge 1-for-1 trade.
— NHL Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) January 6, 2016
You can rationalize both sides of the trade, although Columbus got the better player.
Seth Jones, the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft, is a stud defenseman who hasn’t seen an increase in minutes since his rookie season. He’s put up great possession numbers, has scored at least 25+ points in his first two full seasons and should be a star defenseman very soon. This season Jones scored 11 points, but would have more if not for a 1.4 shooting percentage. The Predators had a surplus of defensemen, and I’m sure they wish they could have kept Jones, but in order to get a quality player like Johansen, a move had to be made. He’s an RFA at season’s end.
Nashville have been largely using Mike Ribeiro as their number one center, and now they have an actual gifted young goal scorer. Johansen put up 59 goals over the last two seasons, and has seen his goal scoring numbers evaporate due to a lower opportunity with John Tortorella and a low shooting percentage. He’s got six goals and 26 points in 38 games. He’ll likely get a chance to play with Filip Forsberg and should see an immediate uptick in both points and playing time. He’s due to make $6 million in 2016-17 and is set for free agency the following year.
So the Predators give up a good, controllable young defenseman for a more expensive, good goal scorer, who hits free agency sooner. They’re clearly in win-now mode. The Blue Jackets on the other hand finally add a decent d-man to their mostly awful defensive corps.