Seth Jones traded to Chicago Blackhawks

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Seth Jones was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday for Adam Boqvist and three draft pick

The Blue Jackets received a first-round pick (No. 12) and a second-round selection (No. 44) in the 2021 NHL Draft, and a first-round pick in the 2022 or 2023 NHL Draft for the defenseman.

The Blackhawks received a first-round pick (No. 32, originally belonging to the Tampa Bay Lightning) and a sixth-round selection in the 2022 NHL Draft.

The Blackhawks are also signing Jones to an eight-year extension worth $9.5MM per season. 

The Blackhawks are taking a gamble, giving up those assets and that contract to a player who wasn’t at his best last season. They’re making Jones the third-highest paid defenseman in the NHL behind Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson.

Jones had one season remaining on the six-year, $32.4 million contract ($5.4 million annual average value) he signed June 29, 2016.

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said they would not have made the trade for the 26-year-old if they didn’t “have confidence that we would be able to extend him.”

“He’s an impact defenseman that we’ve been searching for, for quite some time, and to finally be able to add him to our group here is a huge move for the whole group,” Bowman said. “I think it changes the complexion of our defense in particular, but our team in general.

“We’ve had a chance to watch Seth emerge in the League as a top defenseman. He’s one of the few players who can do everything. He certainly plays close to half the game, we love his competitiveness as well as his all-around game, he’s got the size and the skating as well as the ability to play those tough minutes against top players. In every situation, from the power play to the penalty kill, he’s the guy you want on the ice with a minute to go when you’re protecting a lead as well as when you’re down a goal. Those are tough to find, so when you get that opportunity to add someone like that, you have to do everything you can to bring him in.”

Columbus is getting a decent haul of assets here too. They’ll now be selecting twice in the top 15 picks of tonight’s 2021 NHL Entry Draft, and they’ll be selecting three times in the first round overall. Boqvist is also an extremely important young addition to the Columbus blueline. It’s likely that Boqvist, who’s seen his advanced metrics skyrocket since his rookie season, will be ready for more responsibility with Columbus next season. He put up nice offensive numbers with 16 points in 35 games this season, and could replace Jones as Zach Werenski’s partner on Columbus’ top pairing.