Seth Jones will reportedly not sign an extension with the Blue Jackets. We identified a couple of trade proposals for the LA Kings.
This offseason is shaping up to be a good one in terms of players that could potentially be available for the LA Kings to either sign in free agency or target in trades. Regarding the latter, the latest name to pop up on the rumor mill is Blue Jackets defenseman, Seth Jones.
"“We can tell you that sometime in the last week or so, Seth Jones informed the Columbus Blue Jackets that he will not be re-signing. Now I’m saying for now at this point because I don’t like to deal in absolutes, but it does appear as if he is prepared to test free agency and we’ll see how Columbus decides to handle this over the next little while.”"
Jones has been in the Norris Trophy conversation four out of the last five seasons and is widely regarded as one of the league’s best defensemen. In the 2021 season, he scored five goals and 28 points in 56 games.
Generally, he’s been more of a facilitator than a shooter, as indicated by his career 5.3% shot rate. He’s consistently been atop the Jackets’ leaderboard in blocked shots and has had a significant impact on the team’s special teams during his tenure.
The Blue Jackets had a wave of players walk in free agency following the 18-19 season, including Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky. Columbus finished in eighth place in the Central Division this past season with an 18-26-12 record, and they appear to be headed toward another rebuild.
The Athletic‘s Aaron Portzline reports that the Blue Jackets are likely to deal Jones before the 2021 NHL Draft. He also writes that President of Hockey Operations John Davidson is targeting a “massive trade return” for the 26-year-old blueliner.
Of course, the elephant in the room here is his contract situation. If the Kings were to acquire Jones, he would have to give some assurance of signing a long-term extension.
I recently spoke with The Cannon‘s Will Chase, who indicated that Columbus is looking for centermen that can be inserted or are close to NHL ready rather than stockpiling draft picks. We identified a couple of trade packages that could get the deal done.
Trade No. 1: Gabe Vilardi, Sean Walker, and 2021 Second-Round Pick for Seth Jones
Who says no? Blue Jackets
Vilardi was a disappointment in his first full season, but he finished the year on a high note, tallying five points in the final seven games. Walker gets moved in both deals to clear the way for Jones, but he also comes with three more years of team control at an affordable cap hit. Perhaps another prospect is needed in this trade to get the close the deal. Maybe a Samuel Fagemo would interest Columbus.
Trade No. 2: Alex Turcotte, Sean Walker, and 2021 First-Round Pick for Seth Jones.
Who says no? LA Kings
The Kings would basically need Jones to sign a long-term extension on the spot in this particular trade. Giving up the former fifth overall pick in 2019 in Turcotte and a top-ten pick in the 2021 NHL Draft feels steep right now, but Jones could be the offensive boost along the blueline the organization has been looking for. With a right side of Doughty, Jones, and Roy for the foreseeable future, how does that impact guys like Brock Faber, Helge Grans, among others? Ideally, you’d prefer to target someone like Zach Werenski for the left side of the defense.
See below for more on that.