NHL Trade Rumors: 3 Blue Jackets Offseason Trade Candidates

The Columbus Blue Jackets will be a team to watch this upcoming offseason as everything is on the table when it comes to the trade market. The team made headlines throughout the entire 2023-24 season and for all the wrong reasons. From hiring and firing Mike Babcock, to scratching some of their rookies throughout this disappointing season, there seems to be the feel of a complete reset coming in Columbus.

Look for GM John Davidson to be aggressive at the NHL Entry Draft and into the summer, here's three Blue Jackets who are likely to be involved in trade talks during the offseason:

Johnny Gaudreau

The no-movement clause is an obvious road block but there is some potential the Blue Jackets approach Gaudreau about a change of scenery. After signing a seven-year $68.2 million contract back in 2022, the first two seasons haven't necessarily gone as planned. After putting up 115 points in his contract year, Gaudreau has posted 74 points and has 59 through 79 games this season. Before he signed on the dotted line with the Blue Jackets, the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers were interested, perhaps conversations could pick back up this summer.

Elvis Merzlikins

Merzlikins asked to be traded this season but it became rather obvious fast that the Blue Jackets weren't getting a ton of bites to make it happen. Merzlikins has three seasons left at $5.4 million and does hold a modified no-trade clause covering 10 teams. The Los Angeles Kings could be interested this summer, so too could the Devils as they look at goaltending options, Jacob Markstrom included. Merzlikins has appeared in 41 games, posting a 3.45 GAA and .897 Sv.%. Columbus may have to sweeten the pot a touch to get a deal done.

Adam Boqvist 

With Damon Severson locked in long term and David Jiricek ready for a bigger role next season, look for Boqvist to be dangled on the trade market this summer. At 23 years old there's still lots of uncapped potential within the right-handed defenseman's game. The former eighth overall pick is owed $2.6 million AAV next season and will be a restricted free agent after the 2024-25 season. In 35 appearances this season he's managed to score once and add nine assists. Last year Boqvist posted 24 points in just 46 games so there's lots to like about his game and potential to be a power-play quarterback one day.

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