Big Trade Coming from the Columbus Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets are going to be in the race to select Connor Bedard with the first overall pick at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. Their other first-round pick, which they received from the LA Kings, this pick will be in play.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen admitted earlier this week that the team will be active with the other selection as they look to expedite their rebuild. Kekalainen admitted to TSN's Pierre LeBrun, the Kings pick is 100% in play ahead of the draft.

While the pick will be later in the first round as the Kings are headed for the postseason, it should still give the Blue Jackets a piece several teams will be interested in. The team is expected to be one of the more actives teams this offseason, especially if they land Bedard, who is a generational talent.

Look for Kekalainen to move the pick for a top-four defenseman as the team lost Vladislav Gavrikov to the Kings in the deal which brought back the additional first rounder. The Blue Jackets have just under $20 million in available cap space for the 2023-24 season and look for the team to use up most of the funds as they look to bounce back in a major way next season.

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