The National Hockey League Draft is already expected to be one of the most exciting in the league's history, and today TSN insider Bob McKenzie confirmed a report from fellow insider Darren Dreger that only adds to that excitement.
Yesterday Dreger reported his belief that the #3, #4 and #5 picks in the draft all had a realistic shot of being traded by the teams who currently hold those picks, but McKenzie believes the highest of those 3 picks, the #3 held by the Columbus Blue Jackets, is the most likely to be moved.
"To be honest with you, I think of the three, Columbus might be the one that might be the most open to doing something right now.," said McKenzie as per Nichols on Hockey.
As for the motivation for Columbus to trade their #3 pick? McKenzie believes that the team does not believe in the player ranked at 3 in the draft, and that Columbus could look to move down a few spots.
“The sense that a lot of people are getting right now is that the Columbus Blue Jackets are not sold on Jesse Puljujarvi at that spot, and that they may be looking at a more positionally-oriented name, and that is a center."
McKenzie believes that the Jackets would be willing to move down while remaining in the top 10 in order to acquire assets from the move down while still drafting a player at a position of need.
“Specifically, two centers come to mind. One is Logan Brown, who’s the big 6-foot-6 American from St. Louis who plays for the Windsor Spitfires, who has been kind of rocketing up the draft charts. The other is Clayton Keller, another American who broke a lot of Patrick Kane’s records at the U.S. national program that he’s been a part of for the last couple of years."
This will be one story worth paying attention to as we draw closer and closer to the draft.