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NHL

Blue Jackets Excited About New Players

Blue Jackets Trade

The Columbus Blue Jackets received right-wing Patrik Laine and center Jack Roslovic from the Winnipeg Jets on Friday, in exchange for center Pierre-Luc Dubois and a 2022 third-round draft pick.

The Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen confirmed in an interview Friday that discussions regarding trading Dubois had been in the works for some time. Despite losing a key player, Kekalainen maintained a positive outlook on the future of the franchise. “[It’s] not bittersweet at all, we’re really excited here,” Kekalainen said. “We drafted Pierre-Luc at three, and Patrik Laine was number two. We would have given a lot to move up from three to two at that time.”

Blue Jackets Trade

The Trade

Dubois had requested a trade when he signed a two-year $10 million contract as a restricted free agent with the Blue Jackets very close to the beginning of the 2020 -21 season. He was drafted by the Blue Jackets in 2016 and in his three years on the roster became a key player, with a career total of 19 post-season points. Laine and Roslovic have 16 and five respectively. All three players have participated in three playoff runs. Laine has 140 career goals in four years, while Dubois has 66 in three years. To approximately match Laine in goal-scoring, Dubois would have to have an about 80-goal 2020-2021 season.

Columbus’ Draft Picks

In addition to the third-round draft pick, the Blue Jackets have also traded away their 2022 fifth-round draft pick. In the 2021 draft, the Blue Jackets had traded away their second-round pick and gained a fifth-round pick from the New Jersey Devils. Currently all Columbus’ 2023 draft picks remain.

According to CBS Sports, Laine is currently on injured reserve due to an upper-body injury. He and Roslovic will also have to quarantine for seven days after arriving in Columbus. The Blue Jackets two newest players will likely start playing sometime early February.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” Laine said in an interview Saturday. Roslovic, who is from Columbus, said it’s an “extra cherry on top” to be playing for his hometown.

Due to the new configuration of the NHL conferences, the Blue Jackets and the Jets will likely not play each other this year, unless they face each other in the postseason. Contact between teams is limited this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tortorella’s Thoughts

“I’d like to get them here as quickly as possible,” said head coach John Tortorella regarding Laine and Roslovic, “We’re thrilled.” During his interview following the Blue Jackets 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tortorella also addressed rumors regarding bad blood over Dubois’ trade request, “I’m coaching a hockey team, and who’s on our bench, we’re going to coach them.”

The Blue Jackets will play the Florida Panthers Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. EST and again on Thursday at the same time.

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