The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Winnipeg Jets pulled off a monumental trade on Saturday morning, one that will no doubt drastically alter the future of both franchises for the foreseeable future. The core of the deal centered around the swap of Blue Jackets centerman Pierre Luc Dubois and Jets Star winger Patrik Laine, but the Jets also sent forward Jack Roslovic to Columbus and received a third round pick back from them in the deal as well.
Although it is far too early to tell how this deal will work out for the two teams involved, the buzz on social media thus far would lead you to believe that this deal has gone heavily in favor of the Columbus Blue Jackets.The recent comments made by Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen have only added to that belief with many feeling that Kekalainen was even throwing some shade at Dubois on his way out. I will defend Kekalainen here a little bit by adding that he was asked directly if the moment felt "bittersweet" for him considering he had drafted Pierre Luc Dubois into the NHL, but nonetheless his answer to the question spoke volumes.
"Not bittersweet at all," said Kekalainen flatly.
Kekalainen has good reason to be excited and he laid out some of those reasons during his media availability on Saturday afternoon. The Jackets general manager spoke of the 2016 National Hockey League Entry Draft where he selected Dubois 3rd overall and stated openly that he would have given up "a lot" to move up a spot to pick in the 2nd spot where the Jets eventually drafted Patrik Laine, the player he received in exchange for giving up on Dubois. If there was anything more personal behind his remarks Kekalainen did not so much as hint at it, and was also quick to heap praise on the other piece he received in exchange for Dubois, Ohio native Jack Roslovic.
"I can tell you right from the draft, we drafted Pierre Luc at 3 and Patrik Laine was number 2 and we would have given a lot to move up from 3 to 2 at that time," added Kekalainen. "We are very excited to have Patrik Laine join us and there is a price to be paid for an elite player like he is and I think Jack Roslovic is going to be a huge part of this whole trade. He is a guy we wanted to draft, couldn't get it done because obviously there are other teams that have their turn to and we couldn't get to him. Every time we have had any trade talks with Winnipeg I have asked them about Jack Roslovic, he is a hometown boy and we think he can play center in the National Hockey League. He's got tremendous speed and skill and hockey sense so we're very excited to have both those players join the Blue Jackets."
We will have to wait and see what comes next for both these players before determining a true winner in my opinion, Laine will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season and the same will be true of Dubois after the following season, but it does feel very much like the Blue Jackets are supremely confident about the deal they have made.