Big ol’ trade in the NHL today, with Vinny Lecavalier and Luke Schenn going to the Kings for—holy crap wouldja look at this one? Screw that Kings deal. We’ve got a good, old-fashioned, 1-for-1, star-for-star hockey trade! Nashville sends d-man Seth Jones to Columbus in exchange for center Ryan Johansen.
Both players are very good and still very young, so it feels like a straight offense-for-defense deal. The Predators, with high hopes for the season but currently sitting in the second wild card spot out west, apparently decided what they need is a potential No. 1 centerman in Johansen, 23, and they needed him more than whatever Jones will develop into. The Blue Jackets, having a miserable year, now have in the 21-year-old Jones a potential blue-line anchor for the foreseeable future.
Both were fourth-overall draft picks, though three years apart, and both are relatively cheap—but that’ll change soon. Johansen is signed through next season and will become a restricted free agent in 2017; Jones is a pending RFA, and an extension was apparently not a prerequisite for this deal.