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NHL Trade Deadline Preview Breakdown: Columbus Blue Jackets

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The NHL trade deadline is just under a month away from happening in this shortened, last man standing season. Injuries will leave teams still in the hunt looking for replacements, or have moved faltering clubs into seller status. Positions in the standings will of course have more effect on anything, and that being said I’ll begin my preview series by the most obvious situations going forward.

In today’s preview I will look at another perennial seller at this time of year, the Columbus Blue Jackets. There are plenty of reasons for optimism in Columbus, but optimism doesn’t win games. They are currently sitting last in the Western Conference, and have more than a few pieces that could land them valuable draft picks as they try to rebuild in the post Rick Nash era. This will be Jarmo Kekelainen’s first deadline as a general manager, here’s to hoping he does better than his predecessor. Below is a list of players likely to be on their way out of town, and what they might fetch in a return.

Vinny Prospal: Not sure how he stayed a Blue Jacket after the last deadline, but was even more shocked that he resigned with the club on a one year deal for $2.5M for this season. He will provide veteran leadership wherever he goes, and continues to produce at a high level. He currently leads the Blue Jackets with 9 goals.

Possible Returns: A second round pick seems about right.

Derick Brassard: Expected to be the first line center that would help Nash out, the Jackets used a high draft pick to land Brassard. He hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations. His contract lasts until the end of next season and carries a cap hit of $3.2M, which might be a bit hard for teams to swallow. That being said, can never have too many healthy centers. I’m sure somebody will take a flier on Brassard.

Possible Returns: A mid round draft pick or two.

Adrian Aucoin: Currently playing on a one year $2.25M contract, teams in need of veteran help and leadership on the blueline would be wise to take on the affordable defensemen. Can be relied upon to play very well in your bottom pairing.

Possible Returns: A third round draft pick.

Brandon Dubinsky: What should have been the best part in the return package for Rick Nash, has hardly been anything close to that. Dubinsky has struggled mightily in his first year with the Blue Jackets. He’s been a healthy scratch on multiple occasions and could probably benefit from a change of scenery again. Jeff Carter styles.

Possible returns: A second rounder and possibly another mid round pick.

You can follow J.D. Burke for more hockey commentary, stats, tweets, etc. @WeveGotTwins and find his blog at We've Got Twins